Walking in God’s Truth

Walking in God’s Truth

For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.  (Ps 26:3, emphasis added)

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.  (3 Joh 1:4, emphasis added)

The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.  (Ps 119:160)

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.  (Joh 17:17)

How do we “walk in God’s truth”? 

Let’s consider the Scripture verses shown above, and ponder the fact that Jesus told us in John 14:6 that He is the Truth. Elsewhere, the Scriptures inform us that Jesus is the Word made flesh.  (Joh 1:14)  The Bible also states in John 17:17 that God’s Word is truth.

After reflecting upon these points, we can understand that “walking in the truth” means:

  • living our lives in obedience to God’s Word;
  • making our decisions in agreement with the values of the Scriptures; and
  • living according to the wisdom of the Bible.
  • It suggests that we would highly value God’s Word, and that we would study it diligently. (2 Tim 2:15)

There are many passages of Scripture that remind us that when we seek and serve the Lord, He showers us with His protection, His favor, and His blessings.  Have a blessed day.

(Also see my article titled “Truth & Love Are Bound Up in Jesus” posted on 02/20/2017 in this blog.)

Irrevocable Gifts & Calling

Irrevocable Gifts & Calling

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  (Rom 11:29)

“Irrevocable” means that God won’t change His mind about what He has called you to do. If God has called you, that calling is still there, whether or not you’ve obeyed. And if God gave you a gift—if He gifted you along a certain line—that gift is still in you.

Therefore He says:  “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”  (Eph 4:8)

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ . . .  (Eph 4:11-12)

There are gifts that God has given to the church, and these are referred to as the five-fold ministry gifts:  apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.  There’s also a gift of helps that we all can get involved in. 

As believers, we’re all called to share the salvation story (gospel) with others and to encourage them to trust in Christ for themselves.  It’s a matter of explaining how Jesus reconciled all of mankind to God, and sharing our own testimonies freely and joyfully.

Each member of the church of Christ has a role to play.  (1 Cor 12:27)  Maybe God has called you to the full-time ministry; or to be a businessman or an artist or a musician.  The list can go on and on, but whatever gifts, talents, and skills that He has given you—use them!  Appreciate them and enjoy them, and use them to bring glory to God. 

If you didn’t obey God, and haven’t responded to His call upon your life in a certain area, it’s never too late with the Lord!  Just turn to Him, talk with Him about your change of heart, and ask Him to open doors for you to walk through.  He will answer your prayers and bless you.

 

Pray for Backsliders to be Healed

Pray for Backsliders to be Healed

Many believers either know someone or are related to someone who accepted Christ as their Savior, but then they fell away from their faith and stopped living for the Lord.  The Bible refers to such folks as “backsliding children.”  It’s important that we pray for these brothers and sisters to be restored to the joy of their salvation.

(14) Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you.  I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.”  (22) “Return you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.”  (Jer 3:14, 22)

I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him.  (Hos 14:4)

The Lord says that He will heal their backsliding; and He said that He is married to the backslider!  Wow!  What a statement of commitment on God’s part.  This tells us that He will not give up on anyone, but He will continue to woo them with His love, forgiveness, and mercy. 

Hosea 14 says that He loves them freely, and He yearns for them to return to Him.  It is a very loving thing for us to pray on behalf of our friends and relatives who are turned away from the Lord for a season. 

Pray fervently and with complete faith, for these verses give us assurance of God’s wholehearted cooperation with us.  This increases our faith.  What a good and sound basis for prayer! 

A Stumbling Stone

A Stumbling Stone

Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.  (Rom 9:32)

Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone, and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.  (Rom 9:33)

. . . and “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.  (1 Pet 2:8)

The gospel of Jesus Christ is distasteful to many unbelievers.  The salvation that God has provided through Jesus Christ becomes a stumbling stone and a rock of offense to them.  The Bible tells us that this will be so.

Unbelievers may stumble or be offended about a number of points.  Let’s look at several of those points.

  • The Bible tells us that Jesus suffered, died, and was resurrected. If someone doesn’t believe in resurrection, this can be a point of stumbling.
  • The simplicity of salvation, because it is a gift to be accepted/received, may be “too good to be true” for many. It’s just not complicated enough and doesn’t include enough works for them.
  • Some people think the church and its people are weak. The church has no political agenda, and we have no military might.  This is not attractive to the carnal mind.
  • Yet other folks believe that they are good people, and have never done anything seriously evil. Therefore, they believe, that they don’t need anything more than that.

Our own attitude towards Jesus and His gospel determines our spiritual welfare.  He is a sanctuary to those who bless Him. He is a place of refuge, peace and security to those who believe in Him. However, to those who reject Him, He becomes a stone to trip over. He becomes a devastating stone of judgment to the proud of heart. Many people crash into Him and trip over Him because they try to live as if He doesn’t exist. Jesus Christ will always be a stumbling stone to those who refuse to trust in Him.

How very blessed are all those who love the Lord Jesus!

Spiritually Minded

Spiritually Minded

. . . to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  (Rom 8:6b)

What does “spiritually minded” mean?  Definition:  having the mind set on spiritual things: filled with holy desires and purposes: spiritual.

Being spiritually minded may refer to the structure and outlook of our minds. This is when the Spirit is shaping our mind-(attitude)-set according to His own. It exalts Christ and values God.  It cherishes the Word of God and sees people and things with a relentless God-consciousness.

Reading the Bible every day will assist us in training our mind and thoughts.  A constant feeding upon the Word of God will actually renew our minds so that they’ll be in agreement with the Holy Spirit. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  (Rom 12:2)

. . . and be renewed in the spirit of your mind . . .  (Eph 4:23)

Invite the Word of God to transform you so that you may be spiritually minded and enjoy a peaceful, blessed life.

Our Role in the King’s Return

Our Role in the King’s Return

The Bible says that Jesus is coming again

. . . who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”  (Acts 1:11)

So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.  (Heb 9:28)

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”  (Joh 14:1-3)

Why does Jesus delay His return?  For what is He waiting?

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.  (Jam 5:7)

This verse is talking about an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the gathering of souls, and revival.  The Lord doesn’t want anyone to perish, so He is longsuffering and patient.  (2 Pet 3:9)  He is wanting as many people to be saved as possible before He returns.

Is there a role for us, believers, to play in accelerating the Lord’s return?

Yes!

The Lord challenges us to live holy lives, in order to hasten the Lord’s return.  (2 Pet 3:11-12)  One of the first things upon which to focus is whether we are living holy lives.

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.  (1 Joh 3:2-3, emphasis added)

In verse 3 above, the hope that is referred to is the hope of being like Him, and Jesus’ return for the Body of Christ.  Paul describes the scene for us:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  (1 Thes 4:16-17)

In order to be included in the Rapture, we must be “dead in Christ.”  The Bible tells us how to get into Christ—by being born again.  (Joh 3:16; 2 Cor 5:17)  We are born again when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.

So how may we be involved in speeding up the Lord’s return?

  • Live a life that is ready at all times. We do so by being in Christ and living holy lives.  (1 John 3:3)
  • Tell the story of Jesus, the gospel of Good News to everyone! And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.  (Mat 24:14) 

The gospel must be preached in every nation.  We have received the Lord’s command to do so.  (Mk 16:15)  If you can’t go, send others to share the good news.  Support missionaries and evangelists and by doing so, you bear fruit to God.

The first tribe to welcome King David back was the tribe of Judah.  (2 Sam 19)  Judah means PRAISE.  The tribe of praise showed the way.  And so it will be in the 2nd coming of the Lord—the “tribe of praise” will pilot the way.

As we praise the Lord and worship Him, He sets ambushes against the enemy!  (2 Chron 20:1-22)  In the New Testament, when Paul and Silas were in prison, they prayed and sang praises to God.  As they did, they were delivered.

Throughout the Bible, miraculous victories came during pronounced and abundant praise of God.  The same is true today.  A spirit of praise should dominate our lives!  As we do these things, we’ll welcome and invite the return of our King, Jesus Christ.