God’s Choice Monday, Dec 10 2018 

The scripture for today is John 1:40-42 40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first finds his own brother Simon, and says unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, You are Simon the son of Jona: you shall be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Cephas means Peter which means stone or rock. There is a very great lesson to be learned about the story of these two brothers. Take first Andrew who introduces his brother, Peter to Jesus. He also introduced others to Jesus. He is not really very well known as a disciple. He introduced the boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fish to Jesus before the multiplying of the food that fed thousands. 

Peter on the other hand held a position of leadership among the apostles. Matthew 16: 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon [a]Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are [b]Peter, and upon this [c]rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Peter preached very powerfully in Acts even after he was told by the Pharisees to stop preaching in the name of Jesus.  In the spiritual realm there are laws which do not operate within the natural realm. It was the same power that gave Peter the power to preach as was given to Andrew to tell others about Christ.

Peter also “fed thousands” through his preaching.

The LORD gave the parable of the laborers in the vineyard who all received the same amount no matter what time of day they began working. You don’t keep ledgers or books in the spiritual realm. Being a retired accountant this was a very difficult lesson for me to grasp. God is sovereign and he can give grace to whomever He chooses.

The rock is not Peter but rather anyone God chooses.  He chose Moses. He chose David. He chose Abraham. He chose Mary. He chose Jacob. He chose you. John 15:16 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

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My Regeneration, My Joy-Part 5 Wednesday, Nov 14 2018 

The scripture for today may be found in the book of John Chapter 3 verses 1-6

The New Birth

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

The regeneration that we get is a secret work of the Holy Ghost. We know from the parable of the sower who sows his seed and it grows “he knows not how.” It is like wind that you cannot see but the effects are evident. Regeneration is a profound work on our hearts.

2 Corinthians 3:2-3

You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

The law is written on tablets of stone that if it is followed will appear clean on the outside but on the inside, not so much. But regeneration is written upon the tables of the “heart” which is the very center of our personality which represents change on the inside that shines forth to the outside.

So morality is a periphery work that makes you “look good”. The worldly focus is upon “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But morality is stagnant, does not grow, and kills. Christianity is the center, the source. It “is good”. True beauty: 1 Corinthians 13:12

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Christianity changes us into the same image. 2 Corinthians 3:18

18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

This baptism of the Holy Spirit is from the LORD and brings growth and life.

Romans 8:2-4

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Philippians 2:12-13

12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Jude 1:24 -25

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

 

My Regeneration, My Joy – Part 4 Tuesday, Nov 13 2018 

The scriptures for today begin in the book of Luke chapter 3 verses 4-6:

 “as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.
Every ravine will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be [a]brought low;
The crooked will become straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
And all [b]flesh will see the salvation of God.’”

And also 1 Corinthians 15:42-49

 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown [l]a perishable body, it is raised [m]an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, [n]earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, [o]we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

We have been studying the contrast between morality and Christianity over the past 3 days. We are beginning today’s study in light of the phrase, “And the rough roads become smooth”. Now, I would like you to notice that this point is not the first point. It says in verse 5 above first, “every ravine will be filled”, second, “every mountain and hill will be brought low”, third, “the crooked will become straight”, and now fourth, “and the rough roads smooth.” As you see it comes in stages, in a certain order, because you cannot make the roads smooth until they are straight. You cannot make them straight until every mountain and hill has been brought low, and you cannot do that until every ravine has been filled. This is a description of the Christian life. Regeneration is a process. Sanctification is a process.

Last time, we discussed how Christianity is a “life giving force.” This is illustrated in 1 Corinthians 15:45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. And so we have another contrast of the earthy (moral man) and the Christian (spiritual man). The promise is that “we will bear the image of the heavenly.” vs 49.

To be continued. Next time we will be discussing the “Secret Work”.
 

My Regeneration, My Joy – Part 3 Monday, Nov 12 2018 

The verses for today begin at the book of Romans chapter 1 verse 16:  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

And also Matthew 19:16-26

“16 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 Then he *said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19 Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man *said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be [j]complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.

23 And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””

We have been contrasting the elements of morality and Christianity. We shall begin today with an explanation of God’s salvation. Last time, we found that with morality only, it was impossible to please God, but with Christianity, God is “well pleased” with Christ. And in reviewing the final quote from the scriptures above we find that indeed, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” This is in direct correlation to “the crooked will be made straight” in the previous study. Morality controls but Christianity transforms.

Christianity is a life giving force. It is the power of God in us. We are walking a “new road” not an improved one. Our direction is different. Our purpose is different. Repentance has done a “good work” in us. We have a new nature. We have been reborn. It is like the parable of the new wine in old bottles. It can’t be done. If we try to go back to the old man it is sore grievous to us. Our hearts are broken by the grace and mercy of God through the power of conviction. It is also like when Jesus said, “I have come that they might have “life” and that more abundantly.” Or the Samaritan woman- “everlasting life”. Or when Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the “life”. Or when Jesus said, “I am the light of men.”

To be continued. Next time we will discuss “how the rough places shall become smooth”…

My Regeneration, My Joy – Part 2 Sunday, Nov 11 2018 

The scriptures for today begin at Matthew 5 vs 6:  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

And also Ecclesiastes 1 vs 15: “What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted.

Going on from where we left off in part 1 we are contrasting morality and Christianity. The first attribute of  Christianity is that it has “transforming character” and the second is that it has “true righteousness”.

The first scripture brings out the “fullness” of Christianity. And the second highlights the effects of man attempting to me “moral”. You see, originally man was made in the image of God. He was righteous, free from sin, straight. But, after the fall, he was “born crooked”, born in sin, shapen in iniquity.

Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”

With Christianity the third is restoration, freed from sin, without blemish. With morality it makes life bearable. But with Christianity there is “fullness, righteous, and straightness.”

Luke 3:4-6

as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.
Every ravine will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be [a]brought low;
The crooked will become straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
And all [b]flesh will see the salvation of God.’”

With the old man, the moral man, he is angular, irregular, the road is rough, there are impediments, potholes if you will. But with the Christian there is “true righteousness”.

Romans 14:17 “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 57 but specifically vs 1b-2a “For the righteous man is taken away from evil,
He enters into peace” and vs 21: “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

You see with morality you continue to have arguments ad disputes, but with Christianity there is peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. With morality it is like standing on a trap door that has turmoil underneath. You mess up and “fall through the door” and poof you are covered with worry and stress and biting of nails and gnashing of teeth. With Christianity there is righteousness, rest, joy, and peace with God being justified by faith.

Philippians 4:7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all [a]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

John 1:17 “ For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth [a]were realized through Jesus Christ.

The moral man sticks with the “law” but those in Christ have realized His grace and truth evident in their lives. In the next post we will continue with the contrast and begin with an explanation of the “Salvation of God”.

To be continued…

 

 

My Regeneration, My Joy -Part 1 Saturday, Nov 10 2018 

The scriptures for today begin in the book of John chapter 1 verses 26-33:

26 John answered them saying, “I baptize [s]in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27 It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who [t]has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize [u]Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing [v]in water.” 32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not recognize [w]Him, but He who sent me to baptize [x]in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes [y]in the Holy Spirit.’

One of the very first things we must do as Christians is to realize the reasons we have to rejoice. Why do we rejoice? Is it because it says so in the bible, “Rejoice, and again I say rejoice!”? It is true that it is part of our Christian witness. “Let your light so shine before men that they will glorify you Father which is in heaven.”

 But there is a great difference between morality and Christianity. Let me illustrate from:

Luke 3:1-17. I shall emphasize the main point from verses 2b-6 verse 8a

The word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.
Every ravine will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be [a]brought low;
The crooked will become straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
And all [b]flesh will see the salvation of God.’”

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance,

Let me contrast morality and Christianity in various verses in order to point out the attributes of each.

Morality asks the question:  What shall we do?

   Christianity answers the question by:

1. Transforming character

2. True righteousness

3. Restoration

4. Power of God

5. Wisdom of God

To be continued…

 

 

 

My Tutor, My Gift – Part 3 Tuesday, Nov 6 2018 

The scripture for today begins at Romans chapter 5 verses 19-21:

For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 [a]The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are continuing to review the attributes of God’s grace:

Grace Reigns

God’s grace has power and authority. The law has no power. It merely says “do this” and then it leaves it all up to us. Grace enables God’s purpose to be carried out. Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Ephesians 2:1-5 And you [a]were dead [b]in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the [c]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, [d]indulging the desires of the flesh and of the [e]mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead [f]in our transgressions, made us alive together [g]with Christ (by grace you have been saved).

Grace Sanctifies

Hebrews 8:6  But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
[a]I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.

So instead of the law being on stone tables on the outside, God put his law inside on the tablets of our hearts.

2 Corinthians 3:3 being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, [a]cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of [b]human hearts.

1 John 3:8-9

the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil [a]has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is [b]born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is [c]born of God.

This is not saying that you never sin again but it says you no longer “practice sin”. God works in us.

Philippians 2:12-13  So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

In our minds, we understand it.

1 Corinthians 13:10-12 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [a]became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror [b]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Ephesians 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

1 Peter 1:16 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Hebrews 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.

Hebrews 10:15-17

Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

These verses remind me of a dream I had many years ago where I was sitting in a classroom and using a slate with a piece of chalk. On the slate I began to write a list of my sins. As I was writing very intently, I glance up at the top of the list and there was a line going through the first sin on the list. I was not writing the line. Then a second later the sin began to fade away. Try as I might, I was unable to remember the sin I had just listed a few moments earlier.  So I continued with my list and glanced up again. There I saw the next sin get a line drawn through it. And then slowly fade away. This continued to happen until the entire slate was empty and I awoke so completely humbled by the grace of God.

Let us pray for God to open our understanding to his wondrous grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

My Tutor, My Gift – Part 2 Monday, Nov 5 2018 

The scriptures for today begin at the book of Ephesians Chapter 1 verse 7:In [a]Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.

We have been going over the attributes of God’s grace.

Richness of God’s grace-“grace abounded.” Ephesians 2:7  so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 3:8 To me, the very least of all [a]saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ. James 1:5  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and [d]without reproach, and it will be given to him. 1 Peter 4:10  As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

God’s grace is like an umbrella that covers every need with different types of grace. There is manifold grace, endless grace, restraining grace of God. There is supporting grace best illustrated in Psalm 73:

Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps [a]had almost slipped.
For I was envious of the [b]arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no pains in their death,
And their [c]body is fat.
They are not [d]in trouble as other [e]men,
Nor are they plagued [f]like mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.
Their eye [g]bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart [h]run riot.
They mock and [i]wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak from on high.
They have set their mouth [j]against the heavens,
And their tongue [k]parades through the earth.

10 Therefore [l]his people return to this place,
And waters of abundance are [m]drunk by them.
11 They say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge [n]with the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked;
And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have [o]kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;
14 For I have been stricken all day long
And [p]chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
16 When I pondered to understand this,
It was [q]troublesome in my sight
17 Until I came into the [r]sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to [s]destruction.
19 How they are [t]destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their [u]form.

21 When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced [v]within,
22 Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like [w]a beast [x]before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
24 With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me [y]to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And [z]besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the [aa]strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have [ab]destroyed all those who [ac]are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord [ad]God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

Supporting Grace

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to [b]torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast [c]about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 

Keeping and Preserving Grace

Philippians 1:6  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply [a]all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. John 10

To be continued…

 

 

My Tutor, My Gift- Part 1 Sunday, Nov 4 2018 

The scriptures for today may be found in the book of Galatians chapter 3 verses 24 and 25: 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a [ai]tutor.

And also John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth [a]were realized through Jesus Christ.

Do we rejoice in grace as we ought? is our joy full?

Hebrews 8:6  But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

What is this new covenant?

It is the grace of God. Let me show you the attributes of God’s grace. Grace gives. The law, the old covenant, demands. We see it in John 3:16  16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. There are two words in this verse that I do not want you to overlook. It says “He gave”.  There is nothing legislative about grace.

Romans 6:23 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Under the law it talks about “wages” but under grace it talks about “the free gift of God”. Do you see the difference?

Romans 3:21-26  But now apart [k]from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those [l]who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all [m]have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a [n]propitiation [o]in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, [p]because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who [q]has faith in Jesus.

Grace gives richly. John 1:16 For of His fullness [a]we have all received, and [b]grace upon grace. John 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” Romans 5:15-17, 20 But [j]the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression [k]resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions [l]resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. 2 Corinthians 8:9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 

To be continued….

 

 

My God My Neighbor Sunday, Oct 28 2018 

Today’s scripture may be found in Exodus chapter 20 verses 1-17:

20 Then God spoke all these words, saying,

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of [a]slavery.

“You shall have no other gods [b]before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself [c]an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not [d]leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who [e]stays with you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

And also John 1:17 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth [a]were realized through Jesus Christ.

When God gave Moses the law it came on two tablets. The first tablet has all the commandments relating to God. The second tablet has all the commandments relating to ourselves and others.

And also Matthew 22:35-40

35 One of them, [n]a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and [o]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

The problem is we put the second before the first. We love our neighbor and ourselves before we love God.

With the world there is dread, trials tribulations, frustrations, emptiness, crisis, and lawlessness.

What is the value of our beliefs? Why are we so robbed of our blessings? The light shines in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not. We can’t see what the problem is because we have our priorities all mixed up. The law shines the light on that. The law points out our need for Christ. That is the function of the law? God is Holy.

Why did God give Moses the law? Why did Moses come first then Jesus? Why didn’t Jesus just come right away and get us all out of this mess? That question focuses  on putting man’s way above God’s way. It puts us as the focus instead of God. God should be first and our fellowman second. The world puts the second table first. Without God we can do nothing.

How can we love our neighbor as ourselves with all the disunity? Do we love ourselves? The only way we can know the truth is when God’s law shines its’ light upon us.

The world wants to know how to get practical knowledge in order to cope in the world. How to get through the current crisis. They want to know how to get through with it all. Of course we need help. The nation needs help. But we can’t always start with ourselves and others and then call on God as a last resort in desperation.

We are all just like Adam. We point the finger and say it wasn’t me, it was the woman you gave me. We blame others for what we do. Look at the nations. Same story. There is nothing wrong with me or my country.

James 4:1-3

[a]What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? [b]Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask [c]with wrong motives, so that you may spend it [d]on your pleasures.

We need to start with God.

As Christians it is possible for us to stand in the presence of God before the throne of grace. Introduce ourselves to the ten commandments in the exact order they are given. He is the only God. He is Almighty. He is Sovereign. He is the Creator and Sustain-er of the whole universe. God is Spirit. God is Holy. He demands our total allegiance. We are to worship only Him.

In the world, people live for their children, their wives, their jobs, their possessions, their desires, their accomplishments and successes. They live entirely for themselves.

God is a jealous God, a righteous God, a just God. Jesus did not come to destroy the law but to “fulfill” it. Matthew 5:18 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

God is judging us all this present hour. We are reaping our own rewards.

There is only one test. What is your relationship with God? Do you worship Him, love Him, keep His commandments?

God has a purpose-to bring us out of bondage. God is preparing Christians for that purpose. His Kingdom shall reign and rule over all.

 

 

 


 

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