My Savior My Hope Wednesday, Oct 24 2018 

 

The verses for today may be found in the book of Philippians 3 verses 15-21:

15 Let us therefore, as many as are [a]perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep [b]living by that same standard to which we have attained.

17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. 18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their [c]appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. 20 For our [d]citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform [e]the body of our humble state into conformity with [f]the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

We will begin with the definition of terms beginning with “Savior”. Many would say to you that it means that “Christ died for my sins on the cross at Calvary and saved me from hell and gave me the right to enter heaven when I die.” And, that is all true. But, it is more than that.  He was also the Savior of the whole cosmos. It tells us that in the previous chapter 2 verses 9 and 10: For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Thank God for this.

Let me ask you this one question, “Do you know you are saved?”

How do you know this? Do you hope for heaven? Do you hope for the coming of Christ? Do you live for Christ? Does the Holy Spirit bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God? Have you given up trusting in man to save you: Politics, commercialism, indeed the whole world?

Our citizenship is in heaven.

We eagerly wait for a Savior: The LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Is Jesus transforming you from the body of your humble state into conformity with the body of His glory?

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.

Now let’s go on to define hope: Heb 11:1 11 Now faith is the [a]assurance of things [b]hoped for, the [c]conviction of things not seen.

Ephesians 2: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [h]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.

Matthew 12:21 21 “And in His name the [c]Gentiles will hope.”

Romans 1:5 5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and [b]we exult in hope of the glory of God.

Hope is a yearning. It is something unseen that you know that you have in your grasp. Have you lost all hope? I pray that you find it again in Jesus Christ my Savior and my hope.

Jude 1:24-25 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

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My Priorities Friday, May 4 2018 

Have you ever wondered how many millions of times The Lord’s Prayer has been prayed? It came upon me just this morning as I was finishing up today’s bible study and prayer time.

Has God ever answered that prayer? I was specifically thinking of that request: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Oh how I wished in my quiet hour that prayer could be answered.

Then, I had to ask myself, “am I praying with expectation of an answer?” Perhaps, I should be living it out myself. I had to evaluate my priorities. What should be my number one priority in this earthly life? Thinking it through the verse Ephesians 5:5 came to mind: “For this you know with certainty, that no [e]immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”

And also the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:36-40:

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 [a]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.”

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

Christians are called to be saints. Saints are holy.

Some will argue and say, “How can any man be holy?” or “Aren’t you just trying to return everybody to works instead of grace?”

Be careful that you are not being deceived by partial truth. Christianity is a process. It is made up of steps. We are first washed, justified, regenerated, separated, sanctified, made holy, and made perfect.

How do you respond to these scriptures? Are you uncomfortable? Or are you in agreement? How can you test yourself? Look to 1 John 3:3 : And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

 

 

My Understanding of Christ Monday, Apr 16 2018 

The Scripture to which I would like to draw your attention to this morning can be found in the book of Ephesians chapter 4 verses 20 and 21:

20 But you did not learn [o]Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,

When we learn something we gain an understanding of it. Before you can say that you are a Christian you must “learn Christ’. If we do not know what we believe, how then can we say we are Christians?

The Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us through the Word of God. It is He alone that can remove the veil from our spiritual eyes.

Let’s go back to the first part of this section: Ephesians 4: 17-19

17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, [m]excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality [n]for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

This is a description of what we were like before we accepted Christ and walked in the Spirit; our understanding was darkened. We did not understand Christ.

Now, let’s review the verses that follow today’s verses: Ephesians 4:22-24

22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old [p]self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new [q]self, which [r]in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

My knowledge of Christ is not merely a moral or ethical teaching, nor merely doctrine and theology in a theoretical manner; that I simply learned my sins were forgiven in the death of Christ. No-no, it is more than that.

I heard the truth in Jesus. I heard Him. I learned  the knowledge of the truth in Jesus. I was not saved by a philosophy of redemption but by Jesus.

We see it in Colossians 2:2-4

that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth [a]that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.

Come Back to the Lord-Day 6 Tuesday, Mar 27 2018 

The Scripture for today can be found in the book of Psalms chapter 119 verses 41-48:

Vav.

41 May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O Lord,
Your salvation according to Your [o]word;
42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.
43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I [p]wait for Your ordinances.
44 So I will keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.
45 And I will walk [q]at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings
And shall not be ashamed.
47 I shall [r]delight in Your commandments,
Which I love.
48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments,
Which I love;
And I will meditate on Your statutes.

We have here in these few verses the entire process of transformation that takes place within the heart and mind of every Christian.

For we know:

Romans 10: 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word [b]of Christ.

Salvation Process

Purpose: the lovingkindnesses of the Lord to come to me.

Reproach: the moment we seek the Lord the enemy begins in earnest.

Trust in the Word: the marvel and wonder of the Scriptural foundation.

Waiting for the work of the Spirit: in God’s timing the seeds of the word sprout.

Keeping the commandments.

Freedom from sin: in Christ

Continual seeking to know Him by the Word of Truth.

Speaking the Word: Verbalizing Scripture creates the train that carries the Scriptures from our minds into the depths of our hearts.

Shamelessness: in Christ.

Delight in the Word: love of God.

Meditation: Prayer is the final seal of conversions. The grace and power of the Almighty works all in all.

My Cross Tuesday, Jan 23 2018 

The verse to which I would like to draw your attention today is found in the book of Matthew in the 16th Chapter verse 24: 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Many of you won’t like what I am about to say.

The reason you won’t like it is because we’ve been raised in the “me” generation. I’m not excluding myself here. I’ve always been a bit leery of this “cross” business. The shame of it all. Up on a hill where everybody and his brother could see him bleeding to death in agony. The thought of it is pretty gruesome. I for one always ask, “Why? Why did he have to die like that?”

And now He says to his disciples, which by the way includes you and me if we are Christians, “Take up your cross, and follow me.” Really? I’m playing devil’s advocate here to make a point. What was it that Jesus said just prior to saying what He said in this verse? In the verse just prior to this one it says: 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Boy isn’t that the crux of it all.

It seems to me that when we try to be a people pleaser the enemy uses that to lead us right into failure. Our motives are all wrong. We do good to be seen of men. We go along with the crowd to be accepted. We deny our faith in public because we don’t want to feel awkward or suffer persecution.

Every single thing we do must be to the glory of God.

No matter how burdensome, painful, unreasonable it may seem at the time. All things work together for good to those who are the called according to His purpose. Remember that some of the things we don’t do bring the greatest glory to God. Don’t answer when you are mocked, harassed, and persecuted. Silence is golden.

No one may ever know about the good God called you to today that you are doing without reward, without acknowledgement, without pay, without personal glory. But God knows and will reward you openly.

Take up your cross and follow Him.

My Father Monday, Jan 22 2018 

The verse today can be found in the book of Ephesians chapter 2 verse 18: 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Have you ever noticed how gentle the Holy Spirit of God is? I’ve pondered it at length. How sweet, how precious, how loving, how kind.

And have you noticed the power of Jesus Christ? His name moves mountains. What ultimate strength! His concern for our salvation is amazing.

I would like to draw your attention to God the Father. Often times our thoughts of Him are filtered through our relationships with our earthly fathers. As children we look up to him, we try to do what he wants in order to please him. But in order for us to fully understand God’s love for us, we must not confine Him to this measure. Our earthly fathers fall far short of Him.

The Lord Jesus Christ introduces us to the Father. He ushers us into the presence of the Father at the point of salvation. Do not stop there. As He is holding your hand and leading you boldly to the throne of grace, notice how He sees the Father. He sees God as omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. Yet the word tells us that He thought it not robbery to be equal to God.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

It is natural to want to be like your father. It is supernatural to want to be like Jesus Christ. That desire that comes to every Christian is the essence of the renewed mind.

We ought not shrink away from this mindset. “LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU.”

In us there is the “seed” of eternal life. What is eternal life? To know God:

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gave me to do.

We are in Christ and “through Him we have access to the Father” by one Spirit, which is God’s Spirit. So our salvation isn’t something we do, it was done at the cross, finished there. It is something God does in us and through us. He does the work. It is not of ourselves. It is the gift of God. I hope you’ll open yours today so that when you look into the eyes of God you will see there Jesus and the Spirit.

 

My Holiness Monday, Jan 8 2018 

Today’s scripture can be found in first Peter one verses 15 and 16:  15 but [p]like the Holy One who called you, [q]be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Now I am empathetic at the cringes out there of those who feel the title of this blog post is radically offensive. I can just hear the “who do you think you are?” gasps of indignation.

The verse Romans 12:3 comes to mind: For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

The devil himself will accuse Christians for even thinking that we might be able to “be holy in all your behavior.”

But “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

The whole purpose for Christians is to become more and more like Christ, who is Holy, through the process of sanctification.

The verse 1 Corinthians 1:29-31 also comes to mind: 29 so that no [a]man may boast before God. 30 But [b]by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, [c]and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

To be sanctified means to be set aside for holy use.

Now the Holy One is the one who uses us for His purposes.

You know that God is a “faithful creator”.  1 Peter 4:19 19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

God even creates the faithfulness in us. It isn’t ours of our own doing. We are His workmanship. It is the gift of God.

And 1 Timothy 1:12 states: 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

Paul is telling Timothy that Christ “counted him faithful”.

Now let’s look at some Old Testament clues from Psalm 89: 5 The heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.

There are two words within this verse that I would like to draw your attention: first notice it says, “holy ones”, plural. God has given both faithfulness and holiness and wonders. Second notice it says, “heavens will praise”, plural.

Perhaps I should change the title of this blog post to “My Holiness and Faithfulness” by God’s gift.

 

My Exceeding Riches Sunday, Jan 7 2018 

The verse today comes from the book of Ephesians chapter 2 verse 7:

Ephesians 2:7New American Standard Bible (NASB)

so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Here Paul is expounding upon the purposes of God in all things. Why does God do what God does? Why does God allow what He allows? Why did he allow the Fall?

We all have questions about God. Some questions are not to be understood in this life and others are good to be determined by us who are serving Christ in the here and now. Do you have any questions?

How do we measure the surpassing riches of His grace? We can’t measure them. It is absolutely impossible to measure what God has done for us through Christ Jesus our LORD. They exceed our capabilities to comprehend.

Why was He so kind? to me? to us? to the world? For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that none should perish. He delivered Him up for us all.

By God’s giving Him up for us, God is vindicated as fully loving, fully kind, fully righteous, fully God.

What a mystery? No wonder there are so many questions. The chief end of salvation was so that we might become His children and we might see the surpassing riches of His grace. Immeasurable!

All blessings are through Jesus Christ. It is so important to understand what God has done and is doing in us and for us who are in Christ. We must see ourselves in the light of God’s ultimate purpose for humanity. And what an honor to be used by Him to shine the light of truth upon Jesus for the benefit of the children of God. We are all here to display God’s glory. What a purpose! What a call!

My Earnest Expectation Saturday, Jan 6 2018 

Today’s verses can be found in the book of Philippians the first chapter verses 19-21.

Philippians 1:19-21New American Standard Bible (NASB)

19 for I know that this will turn out for my [a]deliverance through your [b]prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

To Live Is Christ

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

It is my earnest expectation that these scriptures will manifest for me in Christ.

My desire is to glorify God in my body in everything that I do. This desire comes from being saved. When you are saved you get this desire in your heart.  That will become your primary desire above all else.

Another desire I have is to pray. Seeking God’s face is like a thirst in my spirit.

A third desire is to be in the WORD. I’m not talking about skimming a few verses every day. I’m talking about a hunger for the meat of the word. I’m in it to chew on it. To meditate on it. To pray about it. “Lord, What are you trying to teach me in these passages?”

I have an overwhelming desire to hear the teachings of the Holy Spirit.

Another desire is to worship. Not just by myself; I want to worship with a big crowd. I want God to be so glorified by our corporate worship that He shows up with bands of angels to sing along.

This is what is meant by being renewed in the spirit of your mind. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. Even if salvation was the only thing that God ever gave me that would be enough. But that isn’t all there is to it. There’s unmerited favor. This is God’s grace. I could rant on and on about what is included in the package of  gifts given to the believer but suffice it to say that this world can’t contain it all.

Each day is filled with great expectations.

God’s Face Sunday, Sep 10 2017 

Nobody can ever remove himself from the eyes of God because God is omnipresent.

In the book of Genesis it is said that man was made in the image of God.

Yet we think in terms of meeting God face to face at the end of this life for the purpose of being judged whether we were bad or good.

How do you face the prospect of death? Which one of these conditions are you in right now? Are you ready?

When you look into a mirror, what do you see? What do other’s see when they look into your face? When Jesus comes again will you be ready? Is He your God? Have you praised God for His free gift of salvation? Have you entrusted your soul to Jesus Christ?

If you have, you are not afraid of death. You are ready to meet your maker face to face. “Peniel”. This is the name of the place where Jacob wrestled with God and lived to tell about it. It means “Face of God.”

The only way to receive eternal life is to receive Jesus Christ. Being good isn’t enough. The law was given for the purpose of showing us how exceedingly sinful we are, and leads us to Christ the propitiation for our sin.

I pray you will accept Him.

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