Guard Your Faith

Guard Your Faith

How would we guard a treasure?  Would we put it in a bank deposit box; a secret vault; or in a guarded safe?  Naturally, we would do all that we could to protect our valuable property.

What about protecting our spiritual treasure?  Are we just as diligent?  Do we value it properly as we should?  

What is our spiritual treasure?  It is our saving FAITH in Jesus Christ which gives us new life on earth and an eternity in heaven with the Lord—where we will receive a crown.  We’ll be in eternal blissfulness in the splendor of God’s presence.

So what does the Bible say to us?

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.  (1 Cor 16:13 NIV)

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  (1 Tim 6:12 ESV)

 I have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.  (2 Tim 4:7 CEB)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  (Eph 6:10 NIV)

In life hardship and heartaches come our way but, thanks to Jesus, we are never defeated, never without hope, and never alone because our lives are in the hands of God.  He is our defender and protector.

We’ve been given a treasure, but we need to guard it strongly.  The devil wants to destroy our saving faith.  He wants to make us doubt in our minds, to confuse our understanding, and to lead us off course to false treasures which have no value whatsoever. 

But we rely upon the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is eternal truth, and nothing will prevail against it.  As we memorize and meditate upon the Scriptures and remind ourselves of the wonderful gift of salvation that we have received, we will learn how to use our spiritual weapons referred to in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

Here are just some of spiritual our tools:

  • We must take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor 10:5) – this means that we must monitor our thoughts and reject those that contradict the Gospel.  We need to train our minds to remain centered upon Jesus.
  • Be sober-minded and watchful.  (1 Pet 5:8)
  • Submit ourselves to God and resist the devil.  (Jas 4:7)
  • Put on the armor of God in order to stand successfully against the schemes of the devil.  (Eph 6:10-12; Eph 6:14-18)
  • Authority to tread on serpents and scorpions.  (Lk 10:19)
  • Meditate upon excellent things that are worthy of praise.  (Phil 4:8)
  • The blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.  (Rev 12:11)
  • The Holy Spirit within us is greater than the devil.  (1 Joh 4:4)

With these impressive spiritual tools, we are more than able to guard our faith victoriously.  Hallelujah!

The Nature of Love

The Nature of Love

What is the nature of love, especially God’s love?  The Scriptures teach us what we want to know. 

We need to ask the Lord to give us wisdom, insight and revelation knowledge about these passages.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  (1 Cor 13:6-7 NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant.  (1 Cor 13:4 NASB)

. . . but love covers all offenses.  (Pro 10:12b NIV)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.  (Joh 3:16 CEB)

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  (1 Pet 4:8 NIV)

God’s kind of love, which we should desire to imitate, is described in these terms.

LOVE does not:

  • Delight in evil;
  • Is not jealous;
  • Does not brag; and
  • Is not arrogant.

LOVE:

  • Rejoices with the truth;
  • Always protects;
  • Always trusts;
  • Always hopes;
  • Always perseveres;
  • Is patient;
  • Is kind;
  • Covers all offenses;
  • Gives; and
  • Covers many sins.

This is the kind of love that God showers upon us each and every day.  And in order to be His ambassadors on this earth, it is our calling to share this same love with everyone.  Glory to God!

Have No Fear of Death

Have No Fear of Death

We should not fear death as unbelievers do, for we have a Savior and Redeemer who keeps His word.  We know that we will only temporarily be separated from our loved ones, as we wait for them in eternity. 

We have hope beyond the grave because we know that Jesus conquered death.  (See Act 2:24; Heb 2:14; 2 Tim 1:10; Rev 1:18)

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  (1 Thes 4:14 NIV)  The word “asleep” here refers to the death of the body.

Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.  (Isa 26:19 NIV)

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.  (Phil 3:20-21 NIV)

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.  (1 Thes 4:17 NIV)

Death to the believer is an exit from the limitations, the perils and the bondage of this life.  For the Christian, death is a transition from a frail, impermanent dwelling which is exposed to disease pain and peril to a permanent palace, eternal in the heavens.  (2 Cor 5:1)  

Death is the Christian’s coronation, the end of conflict and the beginning of glory and triumph in Heaven.  (2 Tim 4:8)  Hallelujah!

Listen to and Accept Instruction

Listen to and Accept Instruction

We’re taught by the Word of God to listen to the Word and to obey it.  We’re also encouraged to accept instruction from our parents, our elders, and wise counselors.  Most human beings find these instructions challenging—at least some of the time!

But the Bible reminds us repeatedly that blessings, wisdom, and long life will be given to us if we listen to and accept instruction.  Let’s look at some Bible verses:

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.  (Pro 4:10 NIV)

Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold . . . (Pro 8:10 NIV)

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.  (Pro 19:20 NIV)

Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.  (Job 22:22 NIV)

This verse in Job recommends that we memorize the Scriptures to make it easier to meditate upon them.

And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.  (1 Thes 2:13 NIV)

The more that we memorize and meditate upon the Word–as well as obeying it–the more powerfully the Word will work in us and transform us into the image of our Savior and Creator.  God bless you.

The Deep Things of God

The Deep Things of God

What is meant by the phrase ‘the deep things of God’? 

These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  (1 Cor 2:10 NIV)

In the verse of Scripture shown above, the word “depths” translates the Greek noun βάθη, which is the Accusative, Plural of βάθος (bathos). In this context, Paul is using a word that refers to “deep water” to portray a parallel idea in an attempt to describe the complexities of and the secret and careful plans of our God.

This word that represents the depths of God (the deep things of God), refers to greatness, immensity, profoundness, impenetrability, and mysteriousness.  It goes beyond surface considerations and into the serious, innermost study of God’s nature, His purposes and His love.

Let’s continue looking at the Bible:

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.  (Joh 14:26 NIV)

The Holy Spirit was given to every believer at the moment of salvation.  (See Ac 2:38; Eph 1:13)  The Holy Spirit teaches us all things and helps us to remember everything that He has taught us.  As we obey the Word and walk in faith, our relationship with the Lord grows stronger and more mature.

In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.  (Lk 10:21 NIV)

“For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.”  (Amos 3:7 NIV)

The two verses immediately above mention that God reveals hidden thing to His people.  These are clearly deep things of God that the Holy Spirit shares with the children of God.  The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom, insight, and revelation knowledge.

For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  (1 Cor 2:11 NIV)

No one can know the thoughts of God other than the Holy Spirit who dwells within every believer.  (See 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16)  This same Holy Spirit will teach us about the profound, loving, and merciful God whom we are blessed to serve.  The longer that we are in relationship with the Lord, the more deeply we mature in the faith, and the more familiar we become with the deep things of God.  Glory to God!

The Love of Money

The Love of Money

People who have an unreasonable love of money and a lust to accumulate it have fallen into a trap with inbuilt dangers.  These dangers plunge people into ruin and destruction.  The enemy of our souls uses this extreme love of money to control and rule the world, and even to destroy many Christians.

Let us turn to the Bible:

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.  This too is meaningless.  (Eccl 5:10 NIV, underscoring added)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  (1 Tim 6:10 NKJV)

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.  (Mt 6:24 NIV)

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  (Lk 12:15 NIV)

Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.  (Mt 6:19 ISV)

From the Scripture verses above we learn:

  • When a person loves money, they can never have enough.
  • The love of money can drive people to commit sin and to perform evil deeds.
  • The love of money can drive people away from faith in God.
  • We cannot serve two masters:  we must choose to serve God or to serve money.  We cannot serve both.
  • Be on guard against covetousness (greed, materialism, avarice).
  • Learn to value eternal things over and above real estate; savings accounts; stocks & bonds; and possessions.  When we value the eternal, we please God.

Money is not evil.  It can be used for good or evil.  King David was wealthy, but it didn’t control his heart. 

Do not give your heart to money or allow your monetary concerns to control your decisions or your actions.  Tithe and give offerings faithfully as the Lord guides you.  Be generous and help others wherever and however you can as the Holy Spirit directs you.  Use your abundance to bless and help others and to earn the blessings of God in response.  Don’t be stingy with your prosperity.

Be content with what you have and with your situation in life.  If you would like things to change, pray and ask for God’s direction.  He will hear and answer your prayers.

Don’t rely upon or trust in money.  Trust in and put your faith in the Lord and in His Word.  Obey the Lord and His Word and maintain a loving relationship with our Savior. Cultivate an eternal perspective.  We all must remember that wealth cannot go with us into eternity.  But Jesus will be with every believer throughout eternity as long as their relationship with the Lord is alive and vital at the time of their death.  Hallelujah!

God’s Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

God’s Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

When we understand and comprehend God’s perfect love for us, it drives out all fear.  Let’s see what the Bible has to teach us.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  (1 Joh 4:18 NIV) 

The perfect love that we receive from God is unending, unfailing, and persevering.  Glory to God!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  (2 Tim 1:7 NKJV)

The spirit of fear is not from God but comes from not being able to trust God completely and comprehensively.  God has given us the Holy Spirit as well as the fruit of the spirit which includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  (see Gal 5:22-23)  The Holy Spirit is the spirit of power.  (See Acts 1:8)

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  (Rom 8:15 NIV)

The spirit whom we received when we accepted Christ as our Savior is the Holy Spirit.  (See Acts 2:38; Eph 1:13; Rom 8:16)  Once we accepted Christ as our Savior, we became children of God.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  (1 Joh 4:12 NIV)

The Bible verse above reminds us that no one has ever seen God in His complete, divine revelation.  Even Moses only saw the back of the Lord in Exodus 33:18-23.  However, as we believers imitate the love of God for mankind, we demonstrate God’s love to humanity. 

The perfect love of God—which has forgiven and cleansed us of all of our sins—drives out fear.  It drives out the fear of eternal punishment, as well as the fear of what other people think of us.  It drives out the fear of the unknown because we know that God holds us in the palm of His hand and has provided all that we need for life and godliness.  (2 Pet 1:3) As we believers experience God’s love inside of us, it empowers us to live for Him and to love others.  As we mature and grow in grace and walking in the love of God, we model the love, forgiveness, and mercy of God toward all with whom we interact.  Praise God!