LET THE REDEEMED SAY SO

LET THE REDEEMED SAY SO

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. 18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”

Romans 10:14-18

This has been upon my heart so much during these trying times of what the world is calling a pandemic and is using constantly and feeding daily reminders about what is being called the “new normal” and trying to get people conditioned and acclimated to what the world wants us to believe. If we are a logical and critical thinker, we would quickly deduce that the opposite of normal is not a “new normal”, like it is some sort of new soft drink, the opposite of normal is abnormal.

As I finished up reading the book of Revelation and know what one day (possible soon) will come, and a level of death that will be far far worse than what this pandemic has and will cause (for the death will be in the millions), the Gospel of Jesus Christ needs to be proclaimed more than ever today.

One of, if not the greatest and most important duties a Christian has, is that of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So many new believers struggle with knowing what God’s will is for their lives, and this is the first thing we are to do is go and tell others the “Good News” which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So why is this duty of doing so important? Well, for one, not only as believers, but more importantly disciples of Jesus Christ, we are commanded to do so in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The thing is however, we cannot do something that we ourselves do not know and understand, nor are we capable of doing something that we are not, and in doing so, could very well be in danger of hypocrisy!

How can that be, and why would I say such a thing! Let’s look at an analogy right quick. Say you had the money (represents the great gift of proclaiming the Gospel) and you used the gift to purchase a nice leer jet. Now if you have the money, they will sell you a jet even though you don’t know how to fly it. So you get your jet and then go around bragging about all of the wonderful places you will go, but you cannot fly the plane without a pilot (the Holy Spirit), and you yourself do not have a pilots license. Yet, you go around and tell people you are going to go, but never do. What good is it to have this wonderful gift and not be able to use it?

That is the same way with many so-called Christians. They do not go because of one of two reasons. 1) They are not truly saved, nor have they counted the cost of what it means to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus Christ.

2) They have not been trained! How can a person be expected to do something they themselves do not know how to do? Sadly, this is how many churches today leave their so called converts (believers in Christ) and to those churches, more numbers and more money in the offering plate is all that matters. They will one day be held accountable to what God has given them!

Now many of your might be mad by now, and that’s okay, but I am being honest. And unless you do not see the importance of people’s salvation, true repentant, faith saving, truth believing salvation of others, then I would say you are mad for the wrong reasons. I am not saying these things our of judgment and condemnation, rather out of love and great concern for those going to hell. For the confession that I too have not done as I ought to be doing all of the time, and know I WILL be held accountable just as those churches will be! Why? Because we are ONE BODY and ONE CHURCH!

Just to give you a rough idea of what we are facing in the TRUE spiritual pandemic, that of unsaved people, here are some quick eye opening statistics from last year. Now mind you, these are combined numbers, meaning what the writer is referring to as “religious” not necessarily Christian, for the grouped together Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, etc. but this is just for number effect. We are also going to use the old church saying of “20% of the people do 80% of the work.

In 2009, there were an estimated 233 MILLION “Christians” that means there should have been on average 46,600,000 Christians doing God’s will! Do you think they were? Can you imagine how the world we be today if they were! 10 years later, there is a rapid decline of those who no longer believe (and I contest that many were not truly converted to begin with) 13 million people have given up on their faith! This is 13 million more people that are potentially bound for hell, and that is not even including the millions of others who are definitely not even saved! This is why proclaiming the Gospel is so important!

Lastly, as we see in our opening scripture of how will people respond to a call they have not heard, and how can their hear without someone preaching or proclaiming? Do you remember the old movie scenes where someone (usually a child) was standing in the public square on top of something yelling “EXTRA EXTRA read all about it” followed by the latest news headlines? That is proclamation, and that is how we need to be about the Father’s Kingdom business, and is not only our duty for those who are saved, we have been elected to do so, and willingly, not reluctantly, all for the glory of God alone. This is one of the greatest signs that both shows the dying world that you are Christ’s, and are not ashamed!

#ToGodBeTheGlory

WHAT DOES CHRISTIAN LOVE LOOK LIKE

WHAT DOES CHRISTIAN LOVE LOOK LIKE

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The Apostle Paul

You know something… I cannot think like you do, but I can feel like you do and somewhat express things like you do. What do I mean by this? Well, like you, I know what it is to be hungry, experience pain and suffering, happiness and sorrow, and to a certain extent, love. I mean after all, I am only a dog. See, when God created creatures and man, he created us different. If left alone, I will live by instinct, but you live by reason (a story for another day perhaps).

Before we go on to love, I want to use an extremely absurd analogy to (hopefully) get my point across clearly.

Say you saw a quick glimpse of someone doing something extremely crazy silly, say smacking themselves in the head with a hammer, and you found it funny. The next day, you saw the same person doing the same thing, and still found it some what funny, but now it is starting to concern you. The next day you see the same thing, but you stop for a moment and realize that the person eventually starts to show signs of pain and bleeding. Would you think it to be funny anymore? I should hope not, but even more so, should be showing great cause for care and concern for this individual and why they would be doing such a thing. You see, you missed it the first few times because you were just passing by. Maybe you were in a hurry or concerned with just yourself.

Sadly this analogy is not far from the truth of real life and real people. Many times we see others hurting themselves in many ways that cause much pain. Many do not stop and show them love by being concerned not just with the physical being, things that are seen, but more importantly, their spiritual well-being, what is both seen and unseen. And just as sad, many of the times people don’t want to truly be loved, because they like their lifestyle of sin (which can hurt them spiritually and physically). Many have even been hurt by the church of all things and have lost faith and hope in Christians, how sad is that!

Look again at what Christian love should look like in the opening quote. Did you know that love is both a noun and a verb, in the sense of 1 Corinthians 13, it is a call to action. We are to be patient, kind, not envy or boast, be not arrogant or rude, selfish (our way), love bears others burdens. Does this describe you? If we are Christians it should, and if it does not reflect our character towards others in a Christlike manner, this should greatly concern us and grieve us. It should cause us to take as much time as needed to examine ourselves and our motives in the Christian faith. As the Apostle Paul says in the second half of verse 1 “but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

Let me boil this down real quick for us. You cannot truly love God if you do not truly love people, and your cannot truly love people if you do not love God. Clear as mud?

We are called, commanded, exhorted, even disciplined all because of God’s love. The Bible even says we love because He first loved us – 1 John 4:19

If you profess to be a Christians, please take these words to heart, examine yourself in light of the scriptures, spend time with God daily in His Word and prayer, that He would grant you tenders and love towards others, and a heart to be like Christ in their lives. As the old hymn goes “They will know that we are Christians by our love!)

#ToGodBeTheGlory

THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN

THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN

If you will not have death unto sin, you shall have sin unto death. There is no alternative. If you do not die to sin, you shall die for sin. If you do not slay sin, sin will slay you.

Charles Spurgeon

Look at the image above to see what I did intentionally. Do you see it? Some may not because of many reasons; colorblindness, hard to see, have issues with contrast, and so it is with the Christian and sin. We are easily deceived! All one has to do is examine oneself in the light of the scriptures to see how true it is! So much so, we have become calloused, unconcerned, ignorant, and lacking of wisdom against it!

One of the saddest things to see in the Christian community and in the world overall, is that of sin; the lack of seriousness against it, the lack of fighting against it, the lack of doing anything against it, and the worst of all… turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to it.

Many today say that sin has been defeated by God, and therefore there is no cause for alarm. Yes, that is true, but that is still to happen in the future. My friends, sin is alive and well in the world! For Satan is still the one who has the power for a time to continue to deceive all. Before we go any further, let us define the three main words in this writing; sin, deceitfulness, and transgression.

A transgression of the law of God. A vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God. an often serious shortcoming. An offense against religious or moral law. an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible. Sin is normally referred to in the verb form (as it is an action that is done or performed). Can you already see and feel the seriousness of sin, just in its definitions?

Deceit (or deception) means the act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid, the act of deceiving.

Transgression means: infringement or violation of a law, command, or duty, in this case, God’s law(s).

1 John 3:4 puts all of this into prospective that is very easy to understand “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.”

Are you still not getting the point, that sin is serious business and very few Christians today take it seriously if at all?  Many have seared their consciences against God and His law(s) and have become His enemies without even realizing it, and yet God has allowed them to do such!

Some of the high points from Romans 1:18-32:

18-22 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools

24-25 – Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.

26-27 – For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28-32 – And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

One does not have to look far to see what I am clearly pointing out in God’s Word, but more importantly, in those who “profess AND confess” to be Christians! So what can be done and how can a sinful person or Christian be under grace? Hebrews 3:13 gives us a great start in the right direction.

“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Let us get the whole context before we break down the main point of verse 13.

Hebrews 3:7-13 –

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’ 11 As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

So we are to exhort one another daily. To exhort someone takes effort, it takes courage, above all, it takes love. For exhorting means to incite by argument or advice, urge strongly, to give warnings or make urgent appeals.

Here are some very common examples that many of us know, and many of us have also not listened to wisdom. “Do not text and drive”! “Just say no to drugs! These are exhortations done in concern of dangers and the outcomes that take place when warnings (exhortations) are not heeded to. Now let’s take a look at one of the greatest exhortations of the Bible that just about every Christian is (or if not, needs to be) familiar with, Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The death here referred to is far greater than just a physical death, it is an eternal death, one that without the precious blood of Jesus Christ paying for our sins, and walking in the newness of the free gift of grace, it is nothing more than sheer hypocrisy to the world, and an absolute disgrace to the Gospel!

Take time today to do a word search in your Bible on the word sin. Read the book of 1 John, for there is LOTS of spiritual truth that also speaks of our topic this morning. I will leave you with one of my favorite and very sobering quotes when it comes to sin. It comes from the puritan writer and Pastor John Owen.

“Be KILLING sin or it (sin) will be killing YOU!

#ToGodBeTheGlory

WE MUST ALL EXERCISE… BY FAITH

WE MUST ALL EXERCISE… BY FAITH

Happy Lord’s day everyone!

Daddy and I spent some our time in the Word this morning finishing up the Book of Hebrews, and spent much time in the commentary on Hebrews chapter 11. God graciously showed daddy the importance of faith; why we need it, why we must exercise it, why we must live in it, and how we can depend on it.

I am still a puppy, I love to play (exercise) and should do so in that I grow up to be strong and remain healthy. And so should you in your faith, and MANY Christians; are weak, fail, fallen, depressed, have no spiritual power or energy, and many other spiritual health issues, because of their faith!

Think of this analogy for a moment. Each new year passes and lots of people make resolutions, and one of the most popular ones is to lose weight for whatever reason. So say one day someone gives you a lifetime membership to the best health club in town, and it is all inclusive. You get all the workout equipment, you get free exercise drinks to help boost you, you get free massages to relax you or help and injuries, you get the works.

So one day you go check this place out and are absolutely amazed at this gift you have been given, and feel super blessed. In fact, you are so overwhelmed, you just stand there in awe for a long time taking it all in, and then eventually leave. Of what benefit did you receive from this gift by doing that?

So you got busy with things of the world, some time has passed by, maybe another year has rolled around to that same resolution, so you decide it’s time to go back to the club. This time however, you know what to expect, and go in with a different mindset and attitude. So you go in and just start going at what “you think” is your best way to workout, however, you have never worked out seriously in this kind of environment before, and suddenly you got hurt, so you leave and go home, probably swearing that you will never set foot in that club again. Did you still receive any benefits from your membership? No, and probably more bitterness, resentment, and lack of motivation to exercise at all.

So what does all of this have to do with faith? A LOT!

Does this analogy sound a lot like how many of us exercise our faith? C’mon, be honest with yourself, for God already knows. I know I was heavily convicted this morning as I read the 11th chapter of Hebrews and Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary along with it. This Lord’s day, if you are not going to church anywhere, or after you are done with online church, I HIGHLY encourage you to read both Hebrews chapter 11 and Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the chapter.

Remember these important things as you do. Why? Because maybe you have forgotten, maybe you never understood to begin with, maybe you truly never believed!

Matthew 27:51 – And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

This tearing down of the veil is both so symbolic and specific for the believer. As many of you know (but may have forgotten) the veil in the Old Testament separated not only the people from God at the ark of the covenant, but more specifically, a Great High Priest who could only enter the holy of hollies, and once a year at that. But Christ being the greater high priest, the name above ever name, fulfilled what human priests could not and were not meant to do, thereby tearing the veil in two, we now have direct access to the Great High Priest, who sits at the right hand of the Father Interceding on our behalf, by this faith given to us as a gift.

In case you don’t get to the commentary, I want to give you a few nuggets to whet your appetite and to encourage you to do so more this day, and that going forward your faith will continue to be strengthened. All of these are taken directly from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

“Faith was the principle of their holy obedience, remarkable services, and patient sufferings.”

“We cannot come to God, unless we believe that he is what he has revealed himself to be in the Scripture. Those who would find God, must seek him with all their heart.”

“If heirs of Abraham’s faith, we shall obey and go forth, though not knowing what may befall us; and we shall be found in the way of duty, looking for the performance of God’s promises.”

“All true believers desire the heavenly inheritance; and the stronger faith is, the more fervent those desires will be.”

There is so much more that I could go into, and I will stop here for now before this turns into a mini novel. There are also two resources I found this morning that I pray you will also use in your daily devotional and prayer times (this is where many of us need to increase our time in worship, adoration, and prayer) and He will strengthen us.

Scripture promises and prayers

The Book Of Bible Promises – George Mueller

Summing this up, faith given by God is one of the greatest gifts given the Christian, and was not meant to be pushed aside or squandered, as this is the lifeline and hope to the things above in heaven. This is a part of our many duties unto Him who gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for the remission of sin. This should cause us to lay aside the things of this world, and to exercise daily in faith. Many of us fear the things of this world because we do not know from day to day what may come, even death. But this faith hoped for, the things not seen, are secured in the Godhead who promised us so much (please see the PDF’s in this article for more), we can trust and count on them to do all things possible, and NEVER fail!

Let us then pray continually for the increase of our faith, that we may follow these bright examples, and be, with them, at length made perfect in holiness and happiness, and shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father for evermore. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

#ToGodBeTheGlory

TO CHEW OR NOT TO CHEW…

TO CHEW OR NOT TO CHEW…

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.

Jeremiah 15:16

 

Being in my new home with a loving family is a lot of fun! However, I also get into A LOT of mischief! Remember how the past couple of days I shared about my experiences of obedience and things we should not do? Well, today is a do not and a do at the same time.

I LOVE TO CHEW!!! I will chew on just about anything and everything, from mom’s house shoes, to cardboard boxes, to chew toys, and sometimes even you. But I bet if you think about it enough, you too see you like to chew, and on a lot of different things as well. There are some that are good, some not so good. There are some that will kill you (and me), and some that will heal you. Today we will be talking about the latter.

You see, part of you being obedient to God is spending time with Him; in prayer, devotion, prayer, reading his word, going to church to fellowship with other believers, etc.  And here is the dangerous part, not many take as much time as they should doing these things! Why? Because you are busy eating, chewing, even devouring the things of this world! Things that can and will eventually kill you!

Today, I Calvin, am going to try and teach you a little Greek 😉

There are two words we can use when we are referring to chewing and the Word of God. the first word is trōgō (strongs 5176), which means to gnaw, chew, or eat. It is used in John 6:54-58 four times when speaking of eating the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ during physical communion. Should we not also heed in obedience and gnaw, eat, and chew on the Word of God daily, and in the same like manner?

The other Greek word is katesthió (strongs 2719) is a word that means to devour, or eat until it is finished, leaving nothing; ferociously consume all the way down (kinda like I do my rawhide chewies!) This Greek word is used in the scriptures like the one above in Jeremiah 15:16 as well as Ezekiel 3:1-3 and Revelation 10:8-10.

Like me being adopted by this loving family, you too that are saved, have been adopted by a gracious, merciful, loving, kind God. One that sent His Son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man, in the flesh, yet without sin, to save some through the shedding of His blood on the cross of Calvary. Not only that, He has given us so much in the promises in this life, but even more so in a heavenly inheritance awaiting us one day in heaven. We would; know more, trust more, love more, be humbled more, be gracious more, increase our faith more, and in all of these things, be a more mature Christian in doing so. So again, why don’t we? Let us take and repent of our chasing after the things of the world and run to Him who first loved us, that we can daily eat in fellowship with Him, in the reading and devouring of His Word.

#ToGodBeTheGlory

OBEDIENCE IS A MUST

OBEDIENCE IS A MUST

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"If you don't plan to live the Christian life totally committed to knowing your God and to walking in obedience to Him, then don't begin; for this is what Christianity is all about. It is a change of citizenship, a change of governments, a change of allegience. If you have no intention of letting Christ rule your life, then forget Christianity; it's not for you."
Kay Arthur - Christian Author

Romans 5:18-21 – Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So I see my new masters decided to write about me recently, but don’t tell them that I made my own profile… It will be our little secret 😉

Can I be honest with you, one unruly part of creation to another? I sometimes do not like obedience, do you? C’mon, let’s be real with ourselves! After all, God already knows our hearts and our desires, so nothing is truly being hidden from Him, so we should not try and hide it from Him, especially when He has our best interests at heart.

Ever since it all began in the Garden of Eden, when Satan tempted Eve, who in turn tempted her husband Adam, and both fell, disobedience against God, and act of great defiance by His only two children, who believed the lie of Satan that they would become like God – Genesis 3:4-5. Ever since then, man continues to not only be disobedient to God, but greatly increasing in that disobedience.

Like my obedience to my earthly masters, so should your obedience be to your heavenly Master. Obedience is a MUST! NOT and option! Why? Because God knows what is best for us, just like I trust my earthly masters know what is best for me. Many people love dogs, think we are cute, especially when we do little tricks and all, but they don’t like when we jump on visitors to the house, chase the mailman, be mean to the cat. What a bunch of no fun fuddy-duddies! In the same way, God does not like it when we do not act obediently. One of the greatest ways we can show obedience to God and all that He has done and continues to do for us, is spend time with Him daily in His Word and prayer.

James 2:17-18 says it this way – So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

The Bible clearly states that not only is it not possible for us to have faith apart from works, but if faith does not have works, it is a dead faith. Part of the good works is obedience in that God not only expects of His children, but by grace and power of the Holy Spirit to be obedient, and that obedience comes by knowing the love of God. Many have either not been taught the doctrine of obedience, or possibly an abusive form of obedience.

1 John 4:18-20 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Now think about this from the standpoint of me (Calvin) and my masters (my owners). Sure, when I do something wrong or act in disobedience, they can swat me with a paper (spank) or some other harsher form of punishment or abuse, but I would only be corrected in fear, and not love. In fact, doing so may make me more resentful and aggressive, not only to them, but to others as well, and that is not a good thing. But because they want me to be a good, kind, loving member of their family, they want to not only want all of us to be happy, but more importantly that God is happy.

I am still a very young puppy, full of energy, curiousity, and some mischievousness in me I am sure, and that is how many new Christians are as well, but sadly, there are many older Christians who have not grown Spiritually in Christ because they do not spend time in God’s Word. When we are disconnected from our creator, we many times go into us being the boss and ursuping His authority over our lives. That is why a true Christian submits to the Godhead (Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit) as Lord and Master. That is where our faith resides, in the Godhead, and without faith, we cannot and will not be able to walk in obedience in the flesh.

Well, I better get off the computer now… This is about the time one of my masters gets me outside. 

Don’t forget… If you are not spending time with God, you are not walking in obedience and need to repent. He loves when His children depend on Him in all things, in our faith depends on obedience in Christ, and our obedience to Him increases our faith.

#ToGodBeTheGlory

A Godly life – A life truly worth living

A Godly life – A life truly worth living

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A Godly life – A life truly worth living

2 Timothy 3:12-14 – Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

I do not mean funny as in ha-ha, but in sadness and shame, that so many so-called, self professing and confessing Christians in this nation may be so called impostors. Yes, these may be quite hard words to hear, and a very hard pill to swallow, but do yourself a favor and deeply and truthfully examine yourself (as all Christians are commanded to do) in light of the Holy Scriptures and the sins against God that they speak of.

Do you gossip, slander, back-bite, haughty, prideful, unloving, unkind, and we have not even got to the “so-called” BIG sins yet, like stealing, adultery, coveting. We spend more time chasing the things of this world, arguing and debating about the things of this world, and little if any of Christ! THIS SHOULD NOT BE!

As I am reading 2 Timothy this morning and writing about this, Paul says in chapter 3 verse 12 – Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Matthew 10:22 – You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

James 4:4 – You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

John 3:19 – This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. (which is only a few verses after the beloved verse of John 3:16 many people love to quote, and often times do so improperly).

1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Matthew 5:10-12 – “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Breaking these few scriptures can be read and thought of as such. I also love the fact how the Holy Spirit caused the Apostle Paul to use a comma in his opening statement. Indeed,. The word indeed means that you are underscoring or introducing a point that is truth or means as a matter of fact. So many people look at the scriptures in a sinful manner of being relevant (or worse irrelevant!) and do not believe that truth can be absolute. The Word of God is the ONLY thing in this life, in His Holy Word, and the eternity to come that is 100% pure absolute truth, so we best be listening what He is trying to tell you and me!

So Indeed, all who desire… Do you daily think on, dwell on, dream about, etc what your desires are? Are you purposefully living for the world and the things therein, or do you desire to live for and to please God in all your conduct and daily business. Do you pray for wisdom from above in the new graces and mercies you have been shown to even have the ability to get out of bed? Most of us take that for granted every day! Do we go out an lavishly spend on ourselves expensive coffees, or fancy foods to show the world how good we take care of our bodies by spending more than we ought to (yup, did this with intention to get us to all think how foolishly we are!)

Look back just a few paragraphs and let the seriousness of James 4:4 pierce our spirits and convict us if need be! There there is 1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

These are signs that help prove, a litmus test if you will, those who are following Jesus Christ in their lives. If we also look back to the previous chapter, chapter 3, we see who the people are who are not following Christ, especially these, our days of difficulty. People will love themselves, love money, proud, arrogant, abusive, ungrateful, slanderous, hate good, reckless, and the like.

If we seek from God, wisdom from above in the power of the Holy Spirit, whose purpose is, to give the Christian the Godly abilities to live a life that is pleasing to God. That is why we daily need to be in the Word of God, praying to God, seeking God, working out HIS will and purpose in our lives, he will give us the ability to see the false sheep, wolves in sheep’s clothing and who to stay away from.

The end of chapter 4 sums all of this up in: All scripture, that is both the Old Testament and the New Testament, is God breathed, or breathed out by God, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, and equipped for every good work.

Does any of these things speak to you as a Godly person, one who daily seeks God, depends on Him strives for Him in all things, for your good and His glory? Or are you the opposite and stand in His way that your will be done? One way is just a life, the other is a full and meaningful life. The standards have been set, but it is for us to seek by His Word, which life we are truly living. May we properly use the grace and mercy given us this day, to seek repentance if need be, and that He would use us in a worthy manner to glory Him however He sees fit.

#ToGodBeTheGlory

A NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT

A NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT

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A New Heart and a New Spirit

Over the years of being a Christian and realizing more and more that we have nothing to do with our salvation, I have read many such scriptures, but by far, my favorite is Ezekiel 36:26-27.

Although it was a scripture for a particular people in a particular time, it also comes with a future promise for when the Holy Spirit is poured out among believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:26-27

Here is the commentary from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:1-11 – The law of Christ was written in their hearts, and the love of Christ shed abroad there. Nor was it written in tables of stone, as the law of God given to Moses, but on the fleshy (not fleshly, as fleshliness denotes sensuality) tables of the heart, Ezekiel 36:26.

Their hearts were humbled and softened to receive this impression, by the new-creating power of the Holy Spirit. He ascribes all the glory to God. And remember, as our whole dependence is upon the Lord, so the whole glory belongs to him alone. The letter killeth: the letter of the law is the ministration of death; and if we rest only in the letter of the gospel, we shall not be the better for so doing: but the Holy Spirit gives life spiritual, and life eternal.

(my observations) Notice the commentator says the law of Christ. This is the very one an same law that was given to the children of Israel through Moses. Note, it was the law of the Jew to obey, not the Gentile, for no man can truly obey nor fulfill the law, that is why God fulfilled His own law in the flesh of man through the God-man, Jesus Christ the Son. Matthew 5:17-18 – Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. However, we are still not off scott free, for we are to obey the law in love, love for God and love for our neighbor, and that is fully dependent on God the Holy Spirit that dwells and gives each true believer to be a Christ following Christian. We also see the response of Christ Himself when He responds to the question meant to trip Him up when the lawyer asks Him (Christ) both “What must I do” to inherit eternal life and who is my neighbor. Luke 10:27 – And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Especially see Paul’s references to love in Romans 8:4, 13:8, 13:10

The commentator does a wonderful job when he says their hearts were humbled and softened to receive this impression, but he also stops short of what that impression is. I can only assume since the prophet Ezekiel was preaching and admonishing a very hard-hearted, sinful, rebellious people (the children of Israel), Ezekiel is pointing out Israels sins against a Holy, Righteous, Judging God, whose wrath against sin has been storing up for many years. When we look in the context of modern day society, cannot the same be said of us who are the gentiles the Bible always speaks of? Imagine if you will if we only had half of a Bible, half a counsel of God, one where Israel had not yet rejected the Gospel of Salvation unto Christ and the law was to be kept. There would be no need of the Apostle Paul to write about the gentiles being grafted in in most of Romans the 11th chapter. Not only that, there would be no hope for you and I for eternity in heaven! Nothing but condemnation of hell for eternity! Romans 8:1-2 says “here is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” You and I would still be held accountable to the holding of the Ten Commandments each and every day. You and I would be held to obeying over 600 laws, animal sacrifices, going to the temple, etc. Christ came to fulfill all of those parts of the law, and we are set free in liberty to love Him for doing so, and to show love to our neighbors as well, by sharing the Gospel on what Christ has done for sinners. To show mercy to us who have been shown mercy, to be graceful to others as we have been shown grace.

These are the things the commentator sums up when he said And, which is conjoining the coming thought to the previous thought. This is a two part deal, one of which you cannot have part A without part B and vice versa. Our WHOLE dependence is upon the Lord. The Lord ALWAYS means a complete single in one person, yet three distinct persons each complementing one another in all things, and in all times. So it is the Holy Spirit, the person of God Himself, who is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (having unlimited power, able to do all things), and omnipresence (meaning God is and can be everywhere at the same time, AND is the only one who can).

This is summation and the culmination of the Gospel of Christ. The Word of God in law only is ineffective against stoney hard hearts, and is the very reason and purpose for the Gospel given, rich in grace and mercy. It is the Gospel that shows us the mirror of God’s law that we are completely and utterly incapable of keeping, and cannot save ourselves. The proud say their is no hell, no judgment, therefore I worry not and can save myself. Unfortunately, the will find out the truth and full counsel of God the hard way. It is only by the preaching of the Word of God in boldness and power that will go forth when we do so to glorify Him and whom He would save, and not anything we say or do. Even when we speak as I am now, it is in full dependence of God’s Word going forth. If it was not for me being saved, I would not care if others were, and sadly many who profess to be a Bible believing, born again, Holy Spirit filled, Christ following Christian, do exactly just that! They do not fully and completely love their neighbors as themselves. Sure, they may watch their house while the other is on vacation, borrow each others tools, stand at the fence-line talking about the recent big game or other worldly event, but they speak nothing of Christ or glorifying Him!

The Old Testament dispensation was the ministration of death, but the New Testament of life. The law made known sin, and the wrath and curse of God; it showed us a God above us, and a God against us; but the gospel makes known grace, and Emmanuel, God with us. Therein the righteousness of God by faith is revealed; and this shows us that the just shall live by his faith; this makes known the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, for obtaining the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The gospel so much exceeds the law in glory, that it eclipses the glory of the legal dispensation. But even the New Testament will be a killing letter, if shown as a mere system or form, and without dependence on God the Holy Spirit, to give it a quickening power.

#ToGodBeTheGlory

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