Longing for Our Heavenly Dwelling

Longing for Our Heavenly Dwelling

Here’s a truth worthy of deep reflection: 

Our spirits within us long for our heavenly, eternal home.  We yearn to have our flawed, imperfect humanity swallowed up by eternal life and eternal love.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  (2 Cor 5:1-4 NKJV, emphasis added)

He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken.  (Isa 25:8 NKJV)

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  (1 Cor 15:53-54 NIV)

When Isaiah 25 speaks of God wiping away tears from all faces, I believe that He is referring to our arrival in heaven, when all of our past shame and guilt AND any possibility of future sin will be extinguished forever.

All sorrows, sins and shortcomings from our earthly lives will be forgotten, and the prospect of eternity in the presence of our God and King will be our entire focus and purpose.

Just think about eternity spent in an atmosphere of perfect, unconditional, unfailing LOVE!  That is our beautiful, blessed destiny.

Prosperity, Wealth, Abundance

Prosperity, Wealth, Abundance

God has given us promises to bless us with prosperity and abundance—even wealth.  But we need to trust in God’s faithfulness, and trust that He will bring these promises to pass in our own lives.

“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. (Deu 8:18 NKJV)

This Scripture passage says that God gives us power to get wealth in order to establish His covenant with us.  This is an important concept to hold onto:  that God gives us the competence, aptitude, and capacity for receiving and acquiring wealth.

But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.  (Ps 37:11 NIV)

The meek are all those who follow Jesus Christ.  Jesus even said that the meek would inherit the earth.  That would include inheriting prosperity and wealth.  (Mt 5:5; Col 3:2) 

Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.  (Isa 60:5 NKJV)

Isaiah 60:5 informs us that abundance and wealth shall come to God’s people.  Furthermore, it says that our hearts with swell with joy and that our faces will glow joyously because of this truth.

The secret of knowing the Scriptures is to realize that every promise and every blessing is ours NOW—before we see it and before we experience it in the natural.  This is why we are called people of faith.  Faith is trusting God to bring unseen things into the place where we can see them and experience them!  (Heb 11:1)  Hallelujah!

Trust God’s Word more than you trust your senses!  He is a God of signs, wonders, and miracles.  (Ac 2:22; 1 Cor 12:28; Heb 2:4) 

God will never allow your faith in Him to be put to shame.  (Rom 9:33; 10:11)

Benefits of Salvation

Benefits of Salvation

The Lord has given His people, those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord, many precious promises which inform us of the benefits and blessings of salvation.  Today we’re looking at several of these promises.

The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  (Ps 34:10)

Wow!  This passage says that those who seek the Lord will not lack ANY good thing!  What a promise, and what a commitment!  Were you aware of this promise?

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  (Ps 37:4)

This Psalm says that as we delight in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our hearts.  This is a powerful promise from God!  What is it that you desire in life?  Go to the Lord in prayer and tell Him what you desire and what you need.  He will hear and answer your prayers.  (1 Joh 5:15)

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Ps 84:11) 

This Scripture in Psalm 84 is very much like the one in Psalm 34, shown above.  It’s reminding us that God withholds NO GOOD THING from the people who live upright, righteous lives.  All who have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord have been justified and made righteous by the blood of Jesus.  Jesus has become our righteousness.  (1 Cor 1:30)  This is a promise that you may claim for yourself.

Take these verses—these promises from God—to Him in prayer and ask for Him to fulfill them in your life.  Persevere in faith and patience, and you will receive the very things that you’ve requested in order to bring glory and honor to God, the Father.  (Joh 14:13-14)  Hallelujah!

Not Stumbling In Our Words

Not Stumbling In Our Words

The Bible tells us something rather surprising in James 3—that the person who does not stumble in word is a perfect man or woman.  This person is one who is able to control everything about themselves.  Wow!

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.  (Jas 3:2-3, emphasis added

Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.  (Ps 34:13)

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.  (Pro 16:24)

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.  (Pro 18:4)

“He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.”  (1 Pet 3:10)

Controlling our words is one of the most difficult things for human beings.  As 1 Peter 3 reminds us, we should refrain from speaking evil.  Do you know that “speaking evil” means some different things to God?  It means:

  • Saying anything that is less than 100% true;
  • Repeating gossip—even if it’s true;
  • Agreeing with other people who spread lies or say unpleasant things;
  • Saying negative or bad things about ourselves;
  • Repeating negative things;
  • Speaking anything that does not agree with God’s Word.

It surprises people to realize that even if they say something negative about themselves, it is unpleasing to God.  God wants us to agree with what HE says about each one of us.  He says that His children are:

  • Fearfully and wonderfully made,  (Ps 139:14)
  • His special treasure, (Ps 135:4)
  • The apple of His eye, (Zech 2:8)
  • Chosen and dearly loved, (1 Pet 2:4)
  • Given His approval, (1 Thes 2:4) and
  • Accepted in Jesus. (Eph 1:6)

From this list, we can understand that the Lord loves us and has said many wonderful things concerning His children—those who love Him and obey Him.  Since our words proceed from our thoughts, a key Scripture to meditate upon regularly is:

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)

As we think about God’s blessings and meditate upon His Words, our own words will begin to change and will correspond to what the Scripture has to say about everything.  God bless you!

The Right Way

The Right Way

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He teaches sinners in the way.  (Ps 25:8)

I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths.  (Pro 4:11, emphasis added)

Thus says the Lord:  “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.  But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’  (Jer 6:16, emphasis added)

They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness . . .  (2 Pet 2:15, emphasis added)

From the Scriptures shown above, we can clearly understand that God has given His people the “right path” and a “good way” in which we should walk.  He gives us direction and guidance through His Word, and our Lord Jesus served as our highest example.  (See Isa 30:21; 58:11; 1 Pet 2:21-22)

The Word points out to us that the right way is a narrow and challenging one.

Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.  (Mt 7:14)

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”  (Joh 10:1)

The gate is called narrow and challenging because the gate into the right path is through Jesus Christ, alone.  He is the only “door” into the sheepfold.  Let us look at what more Jesus said about this:

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  (Joh 10:7)

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  (Joh 10:9)

Even in this day and age, there are those who don’t want to hear the name of Jesus.  There are many who speak against Christianity and Christians.  The Good News of the gospel of salvation is unwelcome in many places, therefore following the Lord isn’t always popular.  If you’re known as a Christian, it may bring about harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination against you. 

Nevertheless, as long as we stay on the right path, God promises to bring us safely to His eternal kingdom.  (2 Tim 4:18)  And He will bless and prosper us along the way.

Inner Strength

Inner Strength

God gives inner strength to every person who trusts in Him and in His salvation.  Here are several Bible passages on the topic:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  (Isa 41:10 NKJV)

I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves . . .  (Eph 3:16 GNT)

. . . strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy . . . (Col 1:11 NKJV)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Phil 4:13 NKJV)

This is one of the blessed benefits of our salvation—to receive inner strength and perseverance from God, our Savior.  Whenever we face difficulties, challenges, sorrows, or calamities, we may cry out to the Lord in our trouble and He will deliver us. Take note of these Bible verses:

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.  (Ps 107:6)

. . . persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.  (2 Tim 3:11, emphasis added)

What a loving and mighty God we serve!  Look at just some of the blessings that He pours out upon each and every one of His people:

  • He is always with us and will never reject us. 
  • He upholds and sustains us.
  • He gives us grace to enable us to serve Him and to fulfill our callings. 
  • He provides health, healing, reconciliation, and mercy continuously. 
  • He justifies us and grants us peace with our Father God. 
  • He loves us perfectly
  • He has given us a salvation that will provide us with joy in the presence of the Lord now and for all eternity.

Become aware of and use the inner strength that God has given to you.  Study these blessings and benefits of our salvation in order to support and to sustain your inner strength.  Blessings upon you!

Call the Walls Salvation

Call the Walls Salvation

Here are a couple of prophetic verses from the Bible.

Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.  (Isa 60:18)

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:  “We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks.  (Isa 26:1)

There is a day coming when Jesus Christ shall gather His church together, and the verses above foretell of that victorious time.  There will be no need of gates or walls for protection, because the walls will be the very salvation of our God, and the “gates” that we enter will be praise unto our God.  Praise opens all gates into the presence of our living God.

God has shown Himself well able to protect His people.  He says that He is a wall of fire around His people.

‘For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.”  (Zech 2:5) 

God is already the glory in our midst—right now. 

He is our Protector and Deliverer.  (2 Sam 22:2-3; Ps 5:11; 34:17; 91:9-12; 2 Thes 3:3)  As we walk with Him and obey His Word willingly, He takes care of all of our individual needs.  Surely, our relationship with Jesus Christ is a fortress and a protection from evil.  The walls of this fortress are called “salvation.”

No Rock Like Our God

No Rock Like Our God

The Bible tells us repeatedly that God is our rock.  What does that mean for us and for our lives?

For their rock is not like our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.  (Deut 32:31)    

No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.  (1 Sam 2:2)

For who is God, except the Lord?  And who is a rock, except our God?  (Ps 18:31)

The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.  (Ps 118:22)  – Jesus is the “stone” which the builders rejected.  A cornerstone is another word for foundation or basis. 

“This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  (Ac 4:11-12) – Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Not only is Jesus our Rock, but His gospel is, too.  And we, His followers, are chosen by God, and we are precious to Him.  We are a spiritual house built upon faith in Jesus Christ, our Rock and our Redeemer.  (Ps 78:35) There is no Rock like ours who is faithful, loving, and eternal.

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”  (1 Pet 2:4-6)

We are God’s holy priesthood called to offer spiritual sacrifices to God. Spiritual sacrifices would include:

  • Obedience to God and His Word;
  • Cooperating with His re-shaping our values and lives;
  • Loving our neighbors;
  • Acts of kindness and service to others;
  • Praising and worshipping God; and
  • Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.   (1 Peter 2:17)

Remember that Jesus is our Foundation for all of life and faith.

The Word says that all who trust in Jesus will never be put to shame. Praise God!

God Crushes the Enemy

God Crushes the Enemy

God crushes the enemy—He defeats him completely and utterly.  This truth should reassure us and embolden our faith.

Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.  (Ps 60:12)  God is the One who defeats our enemies.

With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.  (Ps 108:13) God walks all over our enemies.  Some of our enemies are:  fear, sickness, lack, pain, and danger.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.  What can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me; therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.  It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.  (Ps 118:6-8) It is always best for us to put all of our faith and hope in the Lord above all others.

And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.  (Rom 16:20)

Where does Romans 16 say that Satan will be crushed?  Under OUR feet—under the feet of those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  The Bible has some further insights for us:

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  (Lk 10:19)  The Lord has given us power to fulfill His will on earth even as it is in heaven.  (Mt 6:10)

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  (Rom 8:37)  Christ has given us the victory in all things, but we must be strong in faith, nothing wavering.  (1 Cor 15:57; Heb 10:23)

Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  (Mt 18:18)  God has given us, His people, power to hold back and restrict (bind) things on earth as well as the power to free up and cause things to pour forth upon the earth!

Jesus has given His church power so that we can fulfill His will and His plan.  Read and meditate upon God’s Word daily in order to strengthen your faith, and to gain boldness in the Lord.  God is using His church (His people) as His instrument to trounce the enemy!

We Beheld His Glory

We Beheld His Glory

What does the word glory mean?  It means:  splendor; wonder; brilliance; or exaltation. 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  (Joh 1:14)  This verse is describing Jesus and His glory.  It says that “we beheld His glory” which means that we can see it and recognize it.

This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.  (Joh 2:11)  Any time that Jesus performed signs, wonders, and miracles, He manifested His glory clearly for all to see.

When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”  (Joh 11:4)  The only way that a sickness can be for the glory of God is when the sick person receives their complete healing by faith in Jesus Christ and they give all the glory, honor and praise to the Father God. 

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  (2 Cor 4:6)  The “light” that was given to man was Jesus Christ, the light of the world.  (Joh 8:12) As we look into His face and accept Him as our Savior, He shares with us His own glory and relationship with the Father.

In Matthew 5:14 we are told that WE are the light of the world because we are the followers and disciples of Jesus, and we carry Him in us and with us wherever we go.

As we obediently follow Jesus, the Light of the World, we share His light and His life with others.  In His name, we pray for people to be saved, delivered, and healed. We are also privileged to see miracles and wonders done in the mighty name of Jesus.

We cannot hide our light, but rather we must allow it to shine brightly in the darkness for we are merely reflecting the glory of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, to the world.