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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To Fear or Not to Fear? Tuesday, Oct 16 2018 

That is an important question and when taken directly from scripture the results may surprise you.

John 9:31 31 We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.

Acts 13:26 26 “Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Philippians 2:12 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;

1 Peter 2:17 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the [b]king.

Revelation 14:7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

Now let’s take the “No Fear” verses.

Do not fear persecutors.

Matthew 10: “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you [b]are blessed. And do not fear their [c]intimidation, and do not be troubled,

Do not fear your value to God.

Deuteronomy 31: Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”

Luke 12: Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Romans 8:14 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery [a]leading to fear again, but you have received [b]a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear [a]involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

 

Mining for Wisdom Monday, Aug 20 2018 

The verses for today can be found in the book of Job chapter 28:

28 There is a mine for silver
    and a place where gold is refined.
Iron is taken from the earth,
    and copper is smelted from ore.
Mortals put an end to the darkness;
    they search out the farthest recesses
    for ore in the blackest darkness.
Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,
    in places untouched by human feet;
    far from other people they dangle and sway.
The earth, from which food comes,
    is transformed below as by fire;
lapis lazuli comes from its rocks,
    and its dust contains nuggets of gold.
No bird of prey knows that hidden path,
    no falcon’s eye has seen it.
Proud beasts do not set foot on it,
    and no lion prowls there.
People assault the flinty rock with their hands
    and lay bare the roots of the mountains.
10 They tunnel through the rock;
    their eyes see all its treasures.
11 They search[a] the sources of the rivers
    and bring hidden things to light.

12 But where can wisdom be found?
    Where does understanding dwell?
13 No mortal comprehends its worth;
    it cannot be found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, “It is not in me”;
    the sea says, “It is not with me.”
15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold,
    nor can its price be weighed out in silver.
16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,
    with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.
17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,
    nor can it be had for jewels of gold.
18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention;
    the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.
19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it;
    it cannot be bought with pure gold.

20 Where then does wisdom come from?
    Where does understanding dwell?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
    concealed even from the birds in the sky.
22 Destruction[b] and Death say,
    “Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23 God understands the way to it
    and he alone knows where it dwells,
24 for he views the ends of the earth
    and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he established the force of the wind
    and measured out the waters,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
    and a path for the thunderstorm,
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
    he confirmed it and tested it.
28 And he said to the human race,
    “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
    and to shun evil is understanding.”

The Work of God’s Hands Saturday, Jul 21 2018 

LORD,

The wonders of your creation are marvelous to behold. The motion, the color, the ever changing and enduring work of your hands is ever before me. My heart rejoices in the beauty of it all; the galaxies, the quiet pools, green pastures, floral landscapes, gently blowing fields of wheat, cherry blossoms, snow on mountain peaks, the moon by night upon the water, raging rivers, deep blue seas, the rocks and rills, my soul perceives, a ray of sun, a poppy field, an ocean view, a forest green, a fall scene, a misty morning, a starry warning, the calm before a storm, a rainbow through the sun, a nebula, the northern lights and a million other sights….

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 Rescue Monday, Apr 30 2018 

From my morning bible study today. I had done my P.A.R.T (Praise,
Admit, Request, Thanksgiving) and was beginning my L.M.N.O.P. (Listen, Messages, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs when….

Early in the wee hours of the morning, while I was listening for the voice of the LORD, the scales were removed from my spiritual eyes and the wax was removed from my spiritual ears. I saw before me as it were a light hovering over my head in a reflection. I saw movement of a corner that radiated from the aura of the light and out of it slipped slowly a black dark orb that slowly rose to the top of the reflection and out of sight. From my mouth I heard praises of God, Almighty repeating, “Blessed is the LORD, my God and my Redeemer.”

 

And again slowly rising from the right lower corner was now a dark grey orb that floated up and then left, out of the reflection.

 

And again I heard from my mouth, “Jesus, name above all names. Only thou art holy. Only thou art good. My King Jesus.”

 

And again slowly rising from the right lower corner was now a royal purple orb that slowly rose up and then right, out of the reflection.

 

And again I heard from my mouth, “Jesus, King of Kings and LORD of lords, Blessed be the name of the LORD, Jesus.”

 

Then the entire reflection turned the color of royal purple and  pulsated  like a steady heart-beat. And then my own reflection turned a neon purple and I heard from my mouth, “Jesus, thank-you, LORD. Thank-you, Jesus.”

 

The verse came to mind, “I am the light of the world.” and another, “I take away the sins of the world.” So, I sensed within that the orbs leaving were confessed sins. And another verse came to mind, “As far as the east is from the west have I removed your transgressions from you.” And another verse, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

The light was still shining over my head in the reflection. I saw myself just sitting there. I looked down at my bible and read again the Psalm for the day, Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.

Finding God Everywhere Saturday, Apr 28 2018 

Going back now to the basics let’s begin again in the book of Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10:

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

This verse was given to me in answer to a prayer, namely, “Oh, God, why? Why must I go back to the basics?”

It has to do with our conversation. Take for instance Ephesians 4:29 29 Let no [u]unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification [v]according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Basically, God is saying, it isn’t just what you say but it is when you say it, why you say it, and how you say it. When is “according to the need of the moment”. Why is “so that it will give grace to those who hear”. And finally how is “but only such a word as is good for edification”.

First he begins with what not to do: speaking the old way, the unsaved talk, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth”. As Christians, we think before we speak. We don’t just blurt out anything to hear ourselves talk. We don’t say hurtful and unkind words to have one over on somebody. We don’t gossip. We don’t use foul language. Our speech should be different, very unlike the world.

It has to do with the truth. Take for instance Ephesians 4:25 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Second he begins with what not to do: speaking the old way, “lying”, “laying aside falsehood”. Then the new way, “speak truth each one you with his neighbor”, then why, “for we are members of one another”.

It is very difficult to have fellowship with a person who doesn’t know the truth from a lie.

Refer to Romans 9:10 for what form of fellowship: 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; [a]give preference to one another in honor;

This is not something that God does for us. Take for instance 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.

We are to “put on the new man”. The new man has order and control. He is aware of what is proceeding out of his mouth. He controls it. He stops hurtful and shameful words before they ever pass through his lips.

I am speaking to myself here more than any of you.

My Correction Friday, Apr 27 2018 

Today, we depart from the usual form in order to analyze how God corrects us. Turn with me first to the book of Proverbs Chapter 3 verses 11-13:

Proverbs 3:11-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

11 My son, do not reject the [a]discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His reproof,
12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.

I have now and in times past found myself in this embarrassing situation of being “instructed” by God. Oh dear me. It reminds me of Paul when he told Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:3 -7

To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

As I urged you [a]upon my departure for Macedonia, [b]remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to [c]pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering [d]the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our [e]instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.

How loving and gentle Paul is to Timothy, his son in the faith. That is how God was with me these past few mornings. You see, I was eager to move on to “Macedonia” which is meaning “Land of the Tall men”. I wanted to teach the important stuff to make myself look good. But God wanted me to “linger” in Ephesus where we find “the basics”. Basically, (pun intended) God was telling me I wasn’t ready for Macedonia just yet.

Rather than wallow in self-pity, I thought it best to explain just how God corrects us.

2 Timothy 3:15-17

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

God uses Scripture to correct us.

James 1:20-22

20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all [a]that remains of wickedness, in [b]humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

We must not think of ourselves more highly than we ought.

1 John 2:5-6

but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

I stand corrected.

My Weakness Saturday, Apr 21 2018 

The Scripture to which I would like to draw your attention this morning can be found in the book of Romans chapter 8 verses 25-27:

25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Our Victory in Christ

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the [j]saints according to the will of God.

I admit, I do not always know how to pray. I struggle with forgiving my enemies, those who have not yet been renewed in the spirit of their minds, and the unregenerate. Not that I am holier than thou, but that I have to resign from the pedestal reserved for the judgments of God.

I admit, I do not always know what to confess. I have to pray:

Psalm 19:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be [a]blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.

I admit rushing into things. I don’t always think things through before I open my big mouth and stick my little foot in there. I forget that sanctification is a process where we are all on a different journey.

I admit questioning God. I think we can all confess that on occasion.

I often think others should forgive me, but I am oblivious to my own inability to forgive them. Oh wretched woman that I am.

 

Come Back to the LORD-Day 17 Saturday, Apr 7 2018 

Today’s Scriptures are found at Psalms 119:129-136

Pe.

129 Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul observes them.
130 The unfolding of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.
131 I opened my mouth wide and panted,
For I longed for Your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
After Your manner [bg]with those who love Your name.
133 Establish my footsteps in Your [bh]word,
And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Your precepts.
135 Make Your face shine upon Your servant,
And teach me Your statutes.
136 My eyes [bi]shed streams of water,
Because they do not keep Your law.

For we know Psalms 119:105-106

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
106 I have sworn and I will confirm it,
That I will keep Your righteous ordinances.

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