Set Apart

Set Apart

But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself:  the Lord will hear when I call unto Him.  (Ps 4:3 KJV)  We have been “set apart” by God.

Moreover, when you divide the land by lot into inheritance, you shall set apart a district for the Lord, a holy section of the land; its length shall be twenty-five thousand cubits, and the width ten thousand. It shall be holy throughout its territory all around.  (Ezek 45:1)  God instructed the Israelites to “set apart” land for Him that would be considered holy.  In present times, we believers have become His dwelling place—the “land” set apart for God!  (1 Cor 3:16, 17; 6:19)

What does it mean to be set apart for God? 

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light . . . (1 Pet 2:9)

It means that we who have accepted Jesus as our Savior are God’s special people, and we are called to proclaim His praises and His good news of salvation to all people, everywhere.  We are Christ’s ambassadors on the earth.  (2 Cor 5:20)

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  (Ps 121:3)  This is a promise of God to His chosen people—those who are set apart for Him.  Every promise in the Bible is for us!  These promises are our inheritance. (Ps 119:111)

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  (2 Cor 7:1)  We who have Jesus as our Savior—and are set apart—are called to holiness.  (1 Pet 1:15, 16)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  (Eph 2:10)  What constitutes “good works”?  Good works are actions which are pleasing to the Lord.  Because we have accepted Jesus as our Savior (we are set apart), He becomes the origin or source of our actions.  Christ is the root cause of everything, and good works are the fruit!

In conclusion, we are set apart as special to God.  Because we are, we walk in holiness and good works to the glory of God.

Note:  This is a reprint of our blog article dated 03/20/2017.

Do You Want Wisdom?

Do You Want Wisdom?

Who is wise?  Let him understand these things.  Who is prudent?  Let him know them.  For the ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them.  But transgressors stumble in them.  (Hos 14:9)

To be wise, we must seek to understand God’s precepts and ways.  Understand means to perceive the intended meaning of His Words and His ways.  Another definition states that to understand means to apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of something. 

Therefore, in order to be wise in God’s sight, we will clearly apprehend the character, nature, and subtleties of God’s Words and His ways—and His personality. 

If you don’t feel that you’ve arrived just yet at that place, then study passages from the Bible every single day.  Meditate upon what you’ve read.  Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your understanding and to give you wisdom.  He will answer your prayers.

He will open the eyes of your understanding and give you revelations into the Word of God and into God’s loving nature.  Hallelujah! 

Note:  This is a reprint of our blog article dated 02/23/2017.

Abide in God’s Word & Be Made Free

Abide in God’s Word & Be Made Free

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:31-32)

The word KNOW in verse 32, above, means to perceive; understand; recognize; or realize.  This is a knowledge that has inception, a progress and an attainment, according to Strong’s concordance (#1097).  It is the recognition of truth by personal experience.

This personal experience suggests a close, personal relationship.  And verse 32 states that we need to abide in [accept, stand in, obey] God’s Word and thereby confirm ourselves to be Christ’s disciples.

In that context, as we personally come to experience the truth of and dependability of God’s Word, it is that same truth that shall set us free from various challenging and destructive experiences in our lives.  It also sets us free from the hurts that other people have inflicted upon us.

God’s steadfast and unfailing love for you can give you such strength and stability in your emotions that you can be made emotionally whole and healthy. 

The best kindness that you can do for yourself is to abide in the Scriptures and become more and more stable and secure in their truth—because you know that God does not lie.  (Num 23:19) 

Rest in Jesus, who has given you the grace, freedom, and strength to live your life to His glory daily!

Note:  This is a reprint of our blog article dated 11/21/2016.

Self-Control

Self-Control

Welcome!  The fruit of the Spirit includes self-control.  (Galatians 5:22-24 NIV)  Isn’t that wonderful?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV)

When we accepted Christ as Savior, the Spirit of God made His home in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit is the One who enables us to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Our responsibility is to yield to the Spirit of God and to actually manifest this fruit!  It is quite exhilarating to do.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”  (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)  Consider the ways that you exercise the spiritual fruit of self-control.  Then praise the Lord for them!

Note:  This is a reprint of our blog article dated 08/20/2016.

Don’t Be Ashamed

Don’t Be Ashamed

The Lord tells us in His word that we should not be ashamed of Him or of His words.  The apostle Paul teaches us the right attitude with his declaration in the book of Romans:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  (Ro 1:16)

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.  (Mk 8:38)

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  (Lk 9:26)

We should never feel embarrassed or uncomfortable that we are Christians.  Additionally, we should never be ashamed to share testimonies of our answered prayers, or of our salvation experience and the blessings of God. 

For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”  (Rom 10:11 ESV)

The gospel of Jesus Christ is truly the POWER OF GOD to everyone who believes.  Let us rejoice in this truth and praise the name of the Lord!

What About Eternal Life?

What About Eternal Life?

How does the gift eternal life, through salvation in Jesus Christ, affect us now in our daily lives? 

These Bible verses are among many that assure us of eternal life, as believers in Jesus:

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.  (1 Jo 5:20 ESV, emphasis added)

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (Joh 17:3 NKJV)

Having an eternal point of view will change the way that we live as believers.  Does anything last forever?  Only God.  Being mindful of our eternal home in heaven, will prevent us from focusing on the wrong things in this life. 

Considering an eternal home in the presence of Jesus and hosts of angels, along with countless brothers and sisters, will help us to reject pride, envy, jealousy, lust for wealth, and many other temptations that are common to human beings.

The Lord has given us the Bible to inform us about our salvation; about His standards of righteous living; and about the endless and bounteous blessings that God pours out upon all people.  His word teaches us to think on good and virtuous things, to bear fruit for the kingdom, to always praise God, and to have regular fellowship with other believers.

Living with an understanding of an eternal future in heaven will infuse our daily lives with joy and wonder.  God bless you.

Why Are Our Thoughts Important?

Why Are Our Thoughts Important?

Believe it or not, the subject of our continual meditations is very important to our lives, and to the quality of our Christian experience.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  (Phil 4:8 NKJV)

This verse from the Bible urges us to think only about things that are: 

  • True,
  • Noble,
  • Just,
  • Pure,  
  • Lovely,
  • A good report. 
  • Additionally, it insists that we think of those topics that have:
    • Virtue (goodness, righteousness) and those that are
    • Praiseworthy (worthy of celebration).

Why are these things important to the Lord?  The Scriptures also say:

 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) . . . (Eph 5:8-9 NKJV)   Jesus called Himself the ‘light of the world’ in John 8:12, and we who follow Him and walk in His light produce fruit that is good and right and true.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only person who ever walked the earth who can be described using all the words shown in the list from Philippians 4:8!  He lived a holy, sin-free, righteous life; and obeyed His Father’s will perfectly.  He did not glory in gossip or in evil reports or in negative stories.  Rather, he turned peoples’ hearts toward the love, mercy, and forgiveness of God, the Father.  He brought GOOD NEWS to mankind!

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.  (Eph 4:25)  We are encouraged to speak the truth concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as the mercy and love of God to one another. 

So, let us endeavor to meditate on things that meet the guidelines shown in Philippians 4:8.  Our lives and our conversations will be blessed and encouraging! 

Carrying Out the Will of God

Carrying Out the Will of God

Do you think that carrying out the will of God is very important to Jesus, our Savior?  Yes, indeed, it is!  The Bible has quite a bit to say on this subject. 

For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.  (Mt 12:50, underscoring added)  Accomplishing the will of God on this earth qualifies us to be members of the family of God.

But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”  (Lk 8:21)  Those who are members of the family of God, not only hear the word of God but we perform it.  Jesus says so.

You are my friends if you do what I command you.  (Joh 15:14)  I want to be a friend of Jesus and a friend of God.  There is only one way to be God’s friend, and that is to carry out the will of God.

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.  (1 Joh 2:17)  One of God’s precious promises to us is that all who do the will of God will live forever. 

Meditating upon the Bible, honoring the Word of God, and continuously executing the instructions found within its pages will make us people who “do the will of God” and earn God’s favor and His blessings.  Hallelujah!

Secrets

Secrets

Are you a person who enjoys having a secret?  Do you have secrets of your own to protect—that you do not want to be revealed?

Well, our Father in heaven has secrets that He will share only with His children.  God also knows every secret of every human being on earth; nothing is hidden from Him.

I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.  (Isa 45:3 NKJV, underscoring added)  There are hidden riches in undisclosed places which are known only to God, and He has promised to give these blessings to His own children.

He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.  (Dan 2:22 NKJV)  Only our God and Savior is able to reveal to us His deep and secret things in such a way that they will be useful, helpful, and fruitful to us.

When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you.  (Mt 6:6 CEV)  When this passage states that God knows what happens in private, it is saying that God sees and knows what is done secretly.

This proves that the conscience is like a law written in the human heart. And it will show whether we are forgiven or condemned, 16 when God appoints Jesus Christ to judge everyone’s secret thoughts, just as my message says.  (Rom 2:15-16 CEV)  God knows even our secret thoughts!  And He loves us no matter what they may be.

Praise God! He can make you strong by means of my good news, which is the message about Jesus Christ. For ages and ages this message was kept secret . . .  (Rom 16:25 CEV)  We are so blessed that the Good News of salvation is no longer a secret but has been revealed to all mankind.  Glory to God most High!

Sweet Meditations on Scriptures

Sweet Meditations on Scriptures

It is a blessing of our salvation that we may have sweet meditations using the promises of God. 

The Bible says:  For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.  (Pro 23:7a)  Our very thoughts govern our actions, according to the Bible.  So if we meditate upon Scriptures and the promises found therein, we can write God’s laws and blessings into our hearts and even into our lives!

My meditation of Him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord.  (Ps 104:34 KJ21)  We have the privilege to think about all of the beautiful and precious attributes that belong to our Savior and God.  And doing so will cause us to praise and worship and rejoice in the Him.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.  (Ps 19:14 KJ21)  If we would like our words to be acceptable to God, we will memorize Bible passages, because our words flow from our hearts and thoughts.  And meditating upon the promises of God will always be acceptable to God, for it is one of the purposes for which He gave us His written Word.

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my meditation.  (Ps 119:99 KJ21)  This Scripture communicates to us that we can be wiser than our teachers by making Bible passages our frequent meditation, and by obeying and honoring God’s Word. Why is that?  Because the wisdom of God is found within the Word of God, and He is willing and happy to share His wisdom with us.  Blessings upon you!