Stir Each Other to Love & Good Works

Stir Each Other to Love & Good Works

When we have fellowship with other believers, we can influence one another to perform acts of kindness out of love for the Lord Jesus and thereby bring glory to God.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  (Heb 10:24-25 ESV)

. . . but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  (Heb 3:13) 

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  (Act 2:1)

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.  (1 Thes 5:11)

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless . . .   (2 Pet 3:14)

These Scripture verses shown above demonstrate a number of good examples for us believers today:

  • As we have regular fellowship, and we have the privilege of comforting and improving each other.
  • It is good to encourage one another to perform kind and loving deeds.
  • We should exhort (urge) one another to live holy lives, even as Jesus did.
  • We should live in peace, harmony, and holiness.
  • It is good to meet with other believers very frequently or to have fellowship through a phone conversation.
  • Do not allow ourselves to become hard-hearted.
  • When we do meet with fellow believers, it is important to be in one accord (unity, harmony).

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we can be an incredible blessing and encouragement to one another.

Feet of a Deer: Hind’s Feet

Feet of a Deer: Hind’s Feet

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.  (Hab 3:19 NIV)

The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.  (Hab 3:19 KJV)

In Habakkuk 3:17-18, the prophet says:

17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Verses 17 and 18 show us that Habakkuk chooses to praise the Lord and to be joyful in Him in spite of life’s challenging circumstances. 

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.  (2 Sam 22:34 & Ps 18:33 KJV)

So what is the significance of hind’s feet?  A hind is a female deer (or a gazelle) who is able to place her back feet unerringly where her front feet have walked.  Because of this, a hind is able to run unreservedly on the roughest terrain.  In times of peril, the hind can run securely and stay on course.  Because the hind can scale high places, it can elude predators.

The spiritual lesson for us is that, despite our circumstances, when we are truly anchored by faith in Jesus, we’ll be able to run with joy the race that is set before us.  The Word reminds us that God Himself is our strength, and in Him our spiritual feet have become as sure-footed, nimble, and fast as the hind. 

The strength that God gives to us is an inward strength—confidence and assurance and courageousness in the face of all external afflictions and trials.

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

. . . that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man . . .  (Eph 3:16 NKJV)

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), and the strength of the Lord is within each one of us.  Glory to God!

We Are His Offspring: His Children

We Are His Offspring: His Children

All who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord are children of God.  Here is what the Bible says.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name . . .  (Joh 1:12 NKJV)

For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also His offspring.  (Act 17:28 KJV)

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith . . . (Gal 3:26 NIV)

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  (Rom 8:14 NIV)

The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are His children.  (1 Joh 3:1 NIV)

Characteristics of Children

  • In Christ, we are children of God through faith. As such, we are able to feel an affectionate, devoted, and respectful confidence in our Father God.
  • We know that we are greatly loved by our Father. We recognize that we are precious to Him.
  • We have a spirit of ready obedience to our Heavenly Father—because of our love for Him and His love for us. We have an earnest desire to obey Him because we trust that His plans for us are totally good and always in our best interests.

Advantages that Children Receive

  • We are in a loving relationship with our Father, and are continuously surrounded by His supernatural and miraculous favor.
  • We are forgiven, cleansed, and free from bondage.
  • We are entitled to fellowship and communion with our Father.
  • Our Father gives us wise counsel and teaching by the Holy Spirit.
  • Exceeding great and precious promises have been given to us by our Heavenly Dad. We are encouraged to “ask and receive so that our joy may be full.”

Trust God to pour out the benefits of salvation in Jesus Christ upon you.  Because we are His children, He invites us to turn to Him and ask Him for everything that we need.  Put away any timidity, and with loving trust and assurance, ask Abba Father to meet your needs right now.  God bless you.

Ask What You Will

Ask What You Will

I’ve gathered some Bible verses that demonstrate that the Lord instructs us and teaches us to ASK for those things that we need and that we want from Him.  All that is required is faith in Jesus Christ and in the Word of God.

If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  (Joh 15:7 KJV)

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.  (Mt 21:22 NKJV)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  (Mt 7:7) 

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  (Jas 1:5, emphasis added)  Notice that God responds in two ways to our asking:  with generosity and without criticism.

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.  (1 Joh 5:14-15)

Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (Joh 14:13, emphasis added)  This verse says “whatever” we ask!  WHATEVER means that there are no restrictions to what we may ask.

Large asking and large expectation on our part honor God

The Lord wants us to ask Him for His blessings and benefits, which He lovingly and mercifully desires to give to us.  But notice that our asking is a necessary part of the process. 

The Lord frequently describes Himself in the Bible as our:  high tower; hiding place; shield and shelter.  (Deut 33:12; Ps 32:7; 61:3-4; 119:114; 143:9; 144:2)  In such places, there are a number of provisions such as water, food, arms/helmets/shields and the all-important elements of safety and protection.  He loves to supply what we need.

The Lord also says quite clearly in several verses of the Scripture that He will not withhold ANY GOOD THING from the righteous—and Jesus is our righteousness!  (2 Cor 5:21)  The Lord means what He says.

Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.  (Josh 23:14, underscoring added)

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

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, underscoring added)

Brothers and sisters, ask God for what you need.  The Lord loves to give us whatever we need.

A Godly Woman

A Godly Woman

The Bible praises a virtuous woman, and finding such a woman in 2019 is rare, indeed!  But many female followers of Jesus Christ are truly virtuous women, and should be highly valued and honored. 

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.   (Prov 31:30, emphasis added)  A woman who has a deep respect for God and for His Word will demonstrate it by her obedience to God and to His Word.  Her life will reflect the moral values that are taught through the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Who can find a virtuous wife?  For her worth is far above rubies.  11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.  12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.  (Prov 31:10-12, emphasis added)  This portion of Scripture praises the Godly wife, who is a trustworthy woman who works diligently to bless her husband and her children.  Such a woman is a faithful steward of whatever finances her husband entrusts to her safekeeping.  She is a loving woman who demonstrates her love not only in service to her family, but with loving affection, as well.  She operates in wisdom and intelligence, and is of great value to all who are related to her.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.  (Pro 31:26)  The virtuous woman always operates through love, and her words are filled with wisdom and kindness.

. . . in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.  (1 Tim 2:9-10)  Not only does a Godly woman present a lovely and modest appearance, but she matures in wisdom and grace in her character and in her spiritual gifts.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus . . . (Phil 2:3-5)  A virtuous woman, like all believers, humbles herself before the Lord and makes Jesus her life example.  I like how Bible teacher, Rick Renner, explains this concept of “esteeming others better than oneself”:

To think lowly; to think in an unpretentious way about oneself; or to think modestly of oneself. ~ Rick Renner

These assembled Bible passages describe some very remarkable character traits that will not only make a woman virtuous; but will also make her a wonderful wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend and confidant!  Because this woman will enjoy performing good works, she will be an invaluable asset to any church and fellowship group.

Look around you at the women you know and love, today!  Take time to praise them, as the Bible suggests.

Sin Equals Ruin

Sin Equals Ruin

Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.  (Ezek 18:30b)

I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! 14 I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.  (Pro 5:13-14)

The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked, overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness.  (Pro 21:12)

A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin.  (Pro 26:28)

These verses from the Bible demonstrate to mankind that sin (iniquity, transgression, wickedness) brings about the devastation and destruction of a person’s life.  Continuous unrelenting sin can wreck homes, relationships, health (mental, physical, spiritual) as well as financial stability.

Whereas the blessings for righteous living can be found throughout the Scriptures.  Here are a handful of those blessings:

  • Stability and ever increasing strength (Job 17:9)
  • God defends the righteous and surrounds them with His favor (Ps 5:11-12)
  • Long life; God hears the prayer of the righteous; grants deliverance from trouble; and the Lord guards their very bones. (Ps 34:12-20)
  • Deliverance from death, and the upright will never be allowed to famish.  (Pro 10:2-3)  Famish means:  to suffer for lack of something necessary (essential for life).

Those who have made Jesus Christ their Savior and Lord are made righteous in Christ  (Ro 1:17; 4:5; 10:4; 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21) and are entitled to all of the blessings of the righteous.  We are also privileged to obey and to live according to the moral teachings of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

God’s Wonderful Counsel

This also comes from the Lord of hosts; He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.  (Isa 28:29 ESV)

O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.  (Isa 25:1 NKJV)

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  (Isa 9:6)

The Lord has declared Himself, through His Word, to be our Counselor.  A counselor is one who gives advice, guidance, and direction.  A wise counselor also gives warning when they feel it is appropriate.

God, who our Savior as well as our Counselor, gives us:

  • Support,
  • A listening ear,
  • Help, and
  • Instruction

We receive many of these blessings through our church family in the person(s) of our Pastor, our elders, and our wise friends.  This is a matchless and precious gift to each one of us.  What a blessing are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Rely upon the Lord and His Word for the best counsel that exists anywhere in creation or in the universe!