Come Back to the LORD-Day 21 Wednesday, Apr 11 2018 

Today is the last day of our 21 day series “Come Back to the LORD”. The Scripture to which I would like to draw your attention is found in the book of Psalms, chapter 119, verses 161-168:

Shin.

161 Princes persecute me without cause,
But my heart stands in awe of Your words.
162 I rejoice at Your [a]word,
As one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and despise falsehood,
But I love Your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise You,
Because of Your righteous ordinances.
165 Those who love Your law have great peace,
And [b]nothing causes them to stumble.
166 I hope for Your salvation, O Lord,
And do Your commandments.
167 My soul keeps Your testimonies,
And I love them exceedingly.
168 I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies,
For all my ways are before You.

For we know: 1 John 4:3-5

and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.

 

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Come Back to the LORD-Day 20 Tuesday, Apr 10 2018 

The Scripture to which I would like to draw your attention today can be found in the book of Psalms, chapter 119, verses 153-160:

Resh.

153 Look upon my affliction and rescue me,
For I do not forget Your law.
154 Plead my cause and redeem me;
Revive me according to Your [bq]word.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked,
For they do not seek Your statutes.
156 [br]Great are Your mercies, O Lord;
Revive me according to Your ordinances.
157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,
Yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies.
158 I behold the treacherous and loathe them,
Because they do not keep Your [bs]word.
159 Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.
160 The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

For we know Psalms 136:6-8

For though the Lord is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will [a]revive me;
You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

Come Back to the LORD-Day 16 Friday, Apr 6 2018 

Today’s Scripture may be found at Psalm 119:121-128

Ayin.

121 I have done justice and righteousness;
Do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Be surety for Your servant for good;
Do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation
And for Your righteous [a]word.
124 Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness
And teach me Your statutes.
125 I am Your servant; give me understanding,
That I may know Your testimonies.
126 It is time for the Lord to act,
For they have broken Your law.
127 Therefore I love Your commandments
Above gold, yes, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything,
I hate every false way.

For we know Deuteronomy 4:29-30

29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.

God’s Blessings of Redemption Thursday, Nov 30 2017 

Ephesians

The Blessings of Redemption

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus [a]by the will of God,

To the [b]saints who are [c]at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before [d]Him. In love [e]He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the [f]kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In [g]Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He [h]lavished on [i]us. In all wisdom and insight He [j]made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His [k]kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration [l]suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things [m]in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 [n]also we [o]have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in [p]Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In [q]Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also [r]believed, you were sealed in [s]Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is [t]given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and [u]your love for all the [v]saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the [w]knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart [x]may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the [y]saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

God’s Miracles Sunday, Aug 20 2017 

God’s Miracles

 

We can choose to concentrate upon the desires of the flesh until we finally give into temptations, or we can choose to be born again. It is a miracle. We cannot change by ourselves. Only the God of creation can regenerate us into new people, a saved people, a living people. Almighty God recreates us anew. He is the one who does it all. We have only to receive from Him his perfect unconditional love.

So many times, people choose not to take God up on his offer of salvation because they have pride and want to be able to contribute to their own salvation by doing something before they come to God for a little assistance.  It won’t work.

Man has absolutely nothing to do with his own salvation. When he is born again he is regenerated, changed, made anew. The eternal God does the work. We are finite. We are very small. We are incapable of saving ourselves. We can’t even understand what is happening to us as God regenerates us.

Listen to the voice of God when He speaks to your heart, “Come”.  Answer the call. “Do you want to be saved?”

Approach God with reverence and godly fear. He is the God of holiness, and of power. Your breath is in His hands. Take off your shoes from off your feet. Humble yourself before you are standing before him at the end of your life. Accept His offer of salvation. Be ready to listen, be afraid to look. Quiver. Stand trembling in the presence of the Almighty God. Put your hands over your face because he is kind, pure, and holy. There is no hope for any of us until we are silenced and shamed before a holy God. “God, be merciful to me a sinner.”

Cast yourself as you are before him. Listen to His message of deliverance.  That he loves you with an everlasting love. He wants to make you his child, to put a new heart, a new mind, a new desire, a new purpose in you. Yield yourself to it.

Do you want to be saved? Amen.

 

God’s Feasts Wednesday, Feb 1 2017 

Do any of you remember that Beatles’ song, “Eight Days A Week?”

“Eight days a week, I love you. Eight days a week is not enough to show I care.”

That is how it is with God.

What does that have to do with the bible you ask?

It’s in there.

Come with me to Leviticus 23 where God instructs Moses about his sacred feasts.

Now go down to verses 39-43.

39 “‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. 40 On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters 43 so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’”

God is pretty good at hiding things in plain sight. In these verses he is talking about the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles. In verse 39 he says “The first day is a day of Sabbath rest and the eighth day is a day of Sabbath rest.”

These booths or Tabernacles were used to represent our bodies-temporary houses. From the time we are saved until we physically die our bodies become temporary places to live. We already have eternity within us via the deposit of his Spirit. The week long feast represents our lifetime.

We all know that there are only seven days in a week. Then the week ends. There is no eighth day in a week. But if you turn the number 8 on its’ side you get the symbol for infinity. So there you have it. After our lives in these temporary bodies die we get eternity.

Today we call this thinking out of the box. When the eighth day comes you are outside of time.

Isaiah 55:

Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Everything God has instituted, His Sabbaths, His Feasts are signs that point to our eternity with Him.

2 Corinthians 5:1-6

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.

God is not only outside of time, he is also outside of space.

Revelation 20:11

The Judgment of the Dead

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.

 

God’s Gift Wednesday, Jan 4 2017 

When a person gives a gift to someone they don’t expect to be paid for it by the receiver of that gift. That is what the word gift means-something given freely. At Christmas time, we all get great joy out of giving gifts to our children and grandchildren and watching them open up their presents and enjoying them. They can only open one gift at a time and play with one toy at a time. We don’t expect them to open up everything all at once but we wait for them to check it out, see how it works, what they can do with it. Sometimes, children will even start playing with the box that the gift came in and get great enjoyment out of it.

But God gives gifts to us that keep on giving.

Let me show you what I mean.

Remember the woman at the well? 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Remember what he spoke to his disciples after he was resurrected? On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

Remember what Paul told the Romans? 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Remember what Paul told the Ephesians? For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Remember what Paul admonished Timothy? 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

And-For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

So far we see that the gift of God is actually multiple gifts: living water, baptism of the Holy Spirit, eternal life, faith, salvation, spiritual gift, boldness, power, love and self-discipline.

In Hebrews we learn that the gift of God can be shared and tasted: It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen[c] away, to be brought back to repentance.

In James we learn that he had planned to give us his gift from the very beginning: 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

In Peter we learn that God has a purpose in giving us gifts: 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

In John we learn God gives us peace: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

So now we know that in addition to all the other gifts, he has also enlightened us, shared the goodness of the word of God, shared his power, given us every good and perfect gift, truth, grace, and peace.

The most precious gift of all was the gift of his Son, Jesus by whom we have access to the Father through his blood. Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

God’s People Wednesday, Oct 26 2016 

[I am writing] to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called to be saints (God’s people) and set apart for a sanctified life, [that is, set apart for God and His purpose]: Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith [your trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] is being proclaimed in all the world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit by preaching the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how continuously I mention you 10 in my prayers; always pleading that somehow, by God’s will, I may now at last come to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift, to strengthen and establish you; 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged and comforted by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, [c]brothers and sisters, that many times I have planned to come to you, (and have been prevented so far) so that I may have some fruit [of my labors] among you, even as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I have a duty to perform and a debt to pay both to Greeks and to barbarians [the cultured and the uncultured], both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am ready and eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “The just and upright shall live by faith.”

Forgiveness of God Wednesday, Feb 17 2016 

Forgiveness is not just something we have, it is something we do.

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[g]

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Dear Friend, it is my sincere hope that you will forgive me for all of the things I have done or said that hurt you in the past. As in the LORD’S Prayer, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” May we, as Christian brothers and sisters forgive one another in Jesus’ name.

Romans 13:7-9King James Version (KJV)

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Forgiveness is a free gift that God gives each of us. But it isn’t something we have and keep and hoard, it is to be re-gifted. It is to be used. Make your forgiveness a verb instead of a noun. Not something you have but something you do.  God Bless you.

In the Garden Wednesday, Jun 10 2015 

From the garden of Eden to the garden of Gethsemane, our world has been changed. When sin came in the garden of Eden it was a plant involved. I’ve heard pastors say that many of the “sins” are related to plants; horrid addictions and the like. But sin was conquered in the garden of Gethsemane when Christ prayed, “not my will, but thy will be done.”

I’ve known people cured of these addictions by the blood of Christ.

They are no longer living in the garden of Eden, slaves to sin; but they are living in the garden of Gethsemane in the Spirit of Christ who has raised them from the dead.

Romans 8:1-17.

The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms

1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

3-4 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

5-8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

9-11 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

12-14 So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!