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…

 

 

 

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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.”

My Time Wednesday, Jan 24 2018 

The verses to which I would like to draw your attention today can be found in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 9 verses 10-11:

10 Whatsoever thy hand finds to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goes.

11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.

Most of the bible scholars out there will be saying, “But what about Ecclesiastes 3?” I wanted to use those verses but it is not possible to rescind God’s plan.

It dawned on me this morning that I have spent over 20 years of my life sleeping. So one- third of my time is spent sleeping. But believe me this time has not been wasted. Dreams are incredible tools that God uses to change us. Maybe, I’ll do a blog post on “My Dreams”.

I used to spend one-third of my life working or going to school. That pretty much covers the activities listed in verse 10.

Moving on to verse 11 the first question is where did Solomon return from? It is as if he has risen above time and looked down over the earth and saw these points of wisdom. If time and chance happens to them all, then that means it happens to me. So we all have a chance, an opportunity if you will, to use our time wisely; to be swift, strong, wise, rich, skillful, but that is no guarantee of success. God places great value on us pursuing Him.

Without God’s help we will not be able to understand the meaning of our time here.

I remember when I was a young adult and my hard work studying and earning my degree finally started to return the benefits. It was time well spent. My mother said to me, “You are so lucky.”

At the time, I was so insulted! “It was hard work, not luck!,” I told my mother. But as it turns out, my mother was wiser than I and knew what Solomon knew that “time and chance” happens to us all.

My Joy Thursday, Jan 11 2018 

 

Today’s verse is found in the book of James chapter one verse 2-3: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various [c]trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces [d]endurance.

What? Endurance? When I first read this verse I thought it was a misprint. It was when I became aware of the importance of context. If we read on we find:

And let [e]endurance have its perfect [f]result, so that you may be [g]perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and [h]without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Well, that’s better. I love the idea of being made perfect and lacking nothing. And what a promise about just asking for wisdom it will be given. How great is that!

Now that I can get joyful about for sure.

Whenever I think of joy it reminds me of Paul’s admonition to the Philippians in chapter four verse 4: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

It also reminds me of when Jesus said during the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:11-12:

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

And when Jesus said in John 15: If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so [d]prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

I always feel the greatest joy when God answers prayers. Not just mine but all of our prayers. How cool is that!

God’s Way Saturday, May 20 2017 

Psalm 1:1Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

God’s Way is right.

God’s Voice Thursday, Jan 12 2017 

When I was in the third grade, I had a teacher that read to us every day. She would have us put our heads on our desks and close our eyes and just listen. She would read one chapter a day which would invariably leave us wanting more. My heart would race as I thought, “What is going to happen next?” Then on the following day, she would begin again as our eager minds and ears would listen to the story.

I didn’t know it then, but realized later that she had a purpose in telling us stories in this way in order that she could discover which of the children were audio learners rather than visual learners. This allowed her to individuate the learning process for all of the children.

This is how it is when God speaks to us through his scriptures, prayer, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, personal prophecy, godly counsel, confirmation, peace of God, and even the circumstances and timing of events.

Because he created us he knows how it is that each individual learns. When we have a personal relationship with God, he communicates through various means that he determines are appropriate at the time.

He spoke to Moses in a bush, Daniel in a dream, Israel through prophets, etc.

Deuteronomy 4:12 Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.

Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.

2 Samuel 23:“The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;
    his word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke.

We are not to limit God. He can do whatever he wishes. He is sovereign.

Isaiah 28:

16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
    a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
    will never be stricken with panic.”

One personal prophecy, I received from the Holy Ghost, was when I read these words that went piercing through my soul like a sword directly to my heart: 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’s Balance Monday, Dec 26 2016 

God’s Balance

Psalm 103: 14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.

It is a wise man who learns that the foundation of life is love. Without knowledge; there can be no joy. Our faith yields a bountiful crop of peace. Healing comes through patience. The most miraculous power on earth is kindness. Prophecy is the cornerstone of goodness. Faithfulness brings the gift of distinguishing of spirits. Speaking in tongues is the epitome of gentleness and their interpretations are brought through self-control.

Psalm 103: 19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

For every fruit of the Spirit there is a gift. God is the ruler of them all. He distributes them as he wills.

You have heard of the “balance of nature” and how delicate it is on earth. With God, that balance expands to the bounds of heaven.

Isaiah 40:The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.”

Isaiah 40: 11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit[d] of the Lord,
or instruct the
Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
or showed him the path of understanding?

If you are always thinking you need to put your own finger on the scale then you’ll never receive God’s best for you.

The Word of God Saturday, Nov 26 2016 

The Word of God

The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

Psalm 19:7-9

Alive in Christ Sunday, Oct 30 2016 

Christ is all, and in all [so believers are equal in Christ, without distinction].

12 So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; 13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. 14 Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others]. 15 Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always]. 16 Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

7
“Blessed [with spiritual security] is the man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord
And whose hope and confident expectation is the Lord.

“For he will be [nourished] like a tree planted by the waters,
That spreads out its roots by the river;
And will not fear the heat when it comes;
But its leaves will be green and moist.
And it will not be anxious and concerned in a year of drought
Nor stop bearing fruit.

 

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.”

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