Showing posts from May, 2013

Common Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Even when Christians face morally confusing situations, they should never think that they have no options other than sinful ones. There will always be a morally right solution that doesn't require disobedience to any of God's moral laws.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.…

The Arm of the Lord

Isaiah 53:1
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

Our refers to the believing remnant of Israel. The arm of the Lord is the power of God in action.

Isaiah 40:10
Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and His arm rules for Him, behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.

The glorious Lord comes to His people as a conquering king, a generous benefactor.

Isaiah 51:9
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in days of old, the generation of long ago. Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon?

The discouraged people of God think of Him as asleep. Appealing to God by bringing His past actions back to remembrance. The helpless people are wondering if God is as active as He once was. Rahab is Egypt-the ancient oppressor nation is perceived as a monster of mythic evil, slain by the power of God.

Isaiah 62:8
The Lord has sworn by His right hand and His mighty arm: I will not again give your grain to…

Power of the Tongue

Matthew 12:34-37
You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. 

The Pharisees were accusing Jesus of blasphemy because of His revealing to them that He was the son of God. Accusing Jesus of blasphemy is blasphemy in itself. Their hard feelings, their refusal of who He was, and their plot to kill Him revealed the evil in their own hearts. They were men of religious power that had twisted God's truth and were in need of radical change.

the day of judgement- this refers to Christ's second coming and His futuristic position as judge of the world.

every careless word-  this is telling us that we wil…

Seasoned with Salt

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you should answer every man.

Proverbs 12:18
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Matthew 12:34
For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

We all know that salt has two primary purposes; it preserves and adds flavor. When the Bible speaks about your words being seasoned with salt, it means they should preserve and not corrupt, be in good taste and they should be for the well being of others. I'm sure you know that words are powerful. Once we have said something, it can not be taken back. We have all said things that we later regret. We sometimes fail to realize that what we say could lift someone up or tear them down. What if something you said to someone was the final straw? What if your harsh words were all the pain they could take? What could that do to a person? Let's look at it the other way. What if something you said saved someone…

No more than we can handle

Today my dad had to be put back in the hospital. He just got out on Friday after being in there for over 3 weeks. Before that, he was in the hospital for a month. He went in at the beginning of February to have a procedure done. He was only supposed to be in there for 3-5 days originally. Since he went in, the doctors keep finding more and more wrong with him. He has had to have blood transfusions, he has had kidney failure, his gallbladder is bad, he has had to have fluid drained out of his body, and he had several blood clots in his arm. He has had a time. This has been going on along with my oldest daughter having coping problems with her mother not being around, my fiance going through her struggles which I have helped with and stayed up all night talking to her about it. I have also had a lot of things going on at work lately. It has wore me out and worn me down from time to time. I have thought to myself, why is all of this going on at one time? What have I done in my life that…

Lean On Me

John 16:30
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

In the midst of the hardship and suffering that was to come, Jesus' disciples, and all following Him, can have such peace in fellowship with Christ. This was Jesus' farewell to his disciples. It ended on a note of triumph.

Isaiah 41:13
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who says to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you."

The fearful people of God, victimized by the cruel whims of human power, will be vindicated, for no human hostility can defeat God.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

The secret of living amid all life's difficulties is simple: trusting God in such a way that one can say, I can do all things through Him that strengthens me. This doesn't mean that God will bless whatever a person does; it must be read in the context of the letter, …

Changing Seasons

Ephesians 5:5-7
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

2Timothy 4:2-4
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suite their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Haven't the seasons changed in our life times? There was a time when churches were filled with the Holy Spirit. Preachers were on fire for God and delivered His message in truth. People would get up and walk out because of the conviction  that fel…

Renewing the Mind- Conclusion

Mark 10:46-52
And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." And they called the blind man, saying to him, take heart. Get up; he is calling you. And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man said to him, "Rabbi , let me recover my sight." And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. 

Jesus later identifies the cry of the blind man as expressing faith. Son of…

Renewing the Mind- Part 4

Ephesians 4:21-24
assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Righteousness- acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin

Holiness-  To be holy is to be distinct, separate, in a class by oneself; to be holy is to be morally pure.

put off your old self- As Christians seek to do this, God makes it a reality. "Self" is the generic Greek for "man" or "human". People need inner transformation because their hearts are "deceitful above all things, and desperately sick" (Jeremiah 17:9).

renewed- Paul expressed the negative side of the new creation in verse 22 as putting off the old self while verses 23-24 express the positive side as an ent…

Renewing the Mind- Part 3

James 1:21
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

Pictures the stripping off of dirty clothes based on a desire to have nothing to do with the moral evil ever again. In place of filthy behavior, the implanted word must take root in God's people. This idea of God implanting His revealed truth reflect: Duet. 30:14-"the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart."; Jer. 31:33- "I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts."

Save your souls refers here to progressive sanctification and ultimately the completion of God's saving work on the last day.

Sanctification-  the state of growing in divine grace as a result of Christian commitment after baptism or conversion

Proverbs 6:23
for the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.

We are working on renewing our mind. We want t…

Renewing The Mind-Introduction

Colossians 3:1-10
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Set your mind on the things that are above contrasts with the things that are on earth- refers to pursuing a …

Giving Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Christians are to be marked by thanksgiving!!!!

Ephesians 5:4
Let there be no filthiness or foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving, in contrast to crude joking and foolish talk, is the positive way to speak. It also counteracts covetousness. The way to avoid being envious about the possessions of others, is to concentrate with thanks on the things that the Lord has given you.

Ephesians 5:20
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Praying in the name of Jesus means that you are praying in faith. You are trusting Him as the mediator or intercessor with God the father on the throne of grace.
mediator- a negotiator who acts as a link between two or more parties

Colossians 2:7
Rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding i…

Pride in Worrying

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.

Humble- marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful

Exalt- to glorify, praise or honor

Humble yourselves- in their suffering, God's people are to give themselves entirely to Him, submitting to His wise ordering of their lives.

Mighty hand of God- brings to mind Exodus, where the Lord delivered Israel from Egypt "by a mighty hand" (Exodus 3:19, 32:11;Deut. 4:34, 5:15). Those that suffer can be confident that the day of humiliation will not last forever. Whether it happens later on in your earthly life or at the last day, God will exalt His people at the proper time.

Casting all our anxieties on Him- bringing all of your burdens to the Lord and letting Him bear the load, not worrying what will happen and how it will happen. Trusting and leaning fully on H…

Good People Don't Go to Heaven

Galatians 2:16
yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Jesus Christ, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. 

Here justified means "counted righteous" or "declared righteous" by God. If people were sinless and perfectly obeyed all of God's perfect moral standards, they could be justified on the basis of their own merits. But Paul says that this is impossible for anyone to do. You cannot depend on your own good deeds as a basis for justification, but only by your faith in Jesus Christ and your willingness to obey His commands.

Matthew 11:29
"and you will find rest for your souls"

Freedom from the crushing legalistic burden and guilt of trying to earn salvation by good works.

James 2:21
was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?

It looks a…

True Freedom

Micah 7:19
You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

God will deal with the sins of His people by casting them into the sea. This is God telling us that He no longer counts our sin against us. In His eyes and according to His standards, not man's, we are freed from sin.

Jeremiah 31:34
No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying "Know the Lord," because they  will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. "For I will forgive their wickedness and I will remember their sins no more.

All covenant partners will know God and know His character, love, and expectations. In Old Testament times, the people only knew of God from what the prophets told them. Everyone did not have a personal, one on one relationship with God until Jesus came. Those that are in covenant with God; He will no longer remember their sins. This is more proof that G…

Free from Condemnation

Romans 8:1-2
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Cross References
Romans 1:16-17
Romans 3:21-5:21
Romans 7:23-25
Romans 8:4-11

Condemnation- an expression of strong disapproval; pronouncing as wrong or morally culpable (culpable-deserving blame)

Paul is expressing the beginning of a new era. There is a new standard now in Jesus Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin or death. Our lives are no longer condemned to death because of sin, our sin has been condemned in the flesh and Jesus paid the penalty when He was crucified. It is no longer sin that dwells in us now, but it is the Spirit of Life that is living inside of us. If you read verses 4-11, you will find that there are ten references made to the Spirit.

This is the evidence that believers have to confirm that they have been set free from sin. The yoke of sin has been broken in their lives b…

The Cost of Nothing

Hebrews 2:1-4
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders, and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.

I have a riddle for you that I heard from one of my favorite preachers. What is greater than God, meaner than the devil and if you keep doing it, it will send you to hell? Think about it.........

What is greater than God? Nothing! What is meaner than the devil? Nothing! And you don't quit doing nothing, it'll send you to hell! That's a pretty good riddle, isn't it? I want talk to you about doing nothing. In the physical realm, doing nothing usually means having noth…

Going to Bed Angry

Ephesians 4:26&27, 29-32
"In your anger do not sin." Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. 
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 

Anger: an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong

Bitterness: having or being a taste that is sharp, acrid, and unpleasant

Rage: a feeling of intense or growing anger

Malice: a desire to harm others or to see others suffer

How many times have you gone to bed angry? When I was mad, I used to go to bed, turn my back to…