We’re Not Fighting Flesh & Blood

We’re Not Fighting Flesh & Blood

Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves that, as believers, we are not battling with human beings but with unseen enemies.  This is an important concept to keep in mind, because we can make the all too easy error of considering other human beings as our enemies.

This is not the heart of God.  This is not why Jesus came to earth!  Let’s turn to the Scriptures and meditate.

We aren’t fighting against human enemies but against rulers, authorities, forces of cosmic darkness, and spiritual powers of evil in the heavens.  (Eph 6:12 CEB)

As the verse above, in Ephesians, reminds us:  we’re fighting against forces of celestial darkness and unseen powers of evil in the heavens.  This is a spiritual battle in which we need the spiritual weapons that the Lord has given to all believers.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ . . .  (2 Cor 10:3-5 ESV)

The Lord has His own battle plan which we would do well to follow.  The first part of our battle involves controlling our own flesh and our own reactions.  We must make sure that our thoughts are obedient to Jesus Christ and His teachings.

. . . to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.  (Ac 26:18 ESV)

We have already turned away from darkness and invited the Lord of Light into our lives.  We have received forgiveness of sins and a place among all who have been sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ.  Our calling is to introduce other people to the same Lord and Savior who has rescued each one of us.

In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe to keep them from seeing the light of the glorious gospel of the Messiah, who is the image of God.  (2 Cor 4:4 ISV)

We must remember that unsaved people have blinders on their eyes to prevent them from seeing the light of the gospel of Good News.  Our prayers and ministry to these people is designed to dissolve those blinders and help them to see the Truth, and to accept their Savior and Redeemer.

Learn about your spiritual weapons and start using them today, dear brothers and sisters.

The Wise Bring Calm

The Wise Bring Calm

Those who serve the Lord Jesus Christ, who are gaining spiritual maturity, exhibit the spiritual gift of wisdom.  Wisdom is a highly valued trait according to Biblical values. 

Wisdom may be called by various names, such as:

  • Insight
  • Perception
  • Astuteness
  • Prudence
  • Understanding

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.  (Pro 29:11 NIV, emphasis added)

A wise person, led by the Spirit of the Lord, will bring peace, quiet and tranquility to any circumstance or situation.  Such a person ushers into the atmosphere the presence of the Prince of Peace.  Glory to God!

Wise people keep what they know to themselves, but fools can’t keep from showing how foolish they are.  (Pro 12:23 NCV)

One of the attributes of wisdom, is that a wise person knows how to be discreet and how to be responsible with information that they have.  This type of person uses good spiritual judgment and discrimination.

Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding, but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.  (Pro 14:33 ESV)

A wise person who finds themselves in a presence of imprudent, thoughtless people will still be able to exert a positive, calming influence upon the environment and bring a sense of serenity into it.  This is a result of the godly influence of spiritual wisdom authored by the Holy Spirit, which is resting upon the spiritually wise person.  Their words and actions will bring a positive, unseen change into the atmosphere.

Based upon these Bible verses and today’s meditation, we can understand why pursuing the gift of spiritual wisdom is vital in the life of a mature Christian.  For those who yearn to deepen and mature their relationship with the Lord, this is a worthy spiritual goal.

Wherever you are in your walk with the Lord, His grace and His love overshadow and surround you.  He hears and answers your prayers.  So rejoice!

Pursue the Spirit of Wisdom

Pursue the Spirit of Wisdom

In this day and age, it’s more important than ever to pursue the Spirit of Wisdom.

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the most glorious Father, would give you a wise spirit, along with revelation that comes through knowing the Messiah fully.  (Eph 1:17 ISV)

Wisdom accomplishes many things in the life of a believer.  Among its many blessings is revelation insight which is a result and a fruit of knowing the Savior entirely and fully.  This is talking about an experiential knowledge of the Lord.

But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. 18 When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice.  (Jas 3:17-18 CEV)

Familiarity with the Spirit of Wisdom leads us to acquire these precious character strengths named in James 3:17-18.  We who serve the Prince of Peace plant seeds of peace—which in turn harvest JUSTICE!  Praise the Lord! 

Justice means integrity, righteousness, and honesty.

. . . for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  (2 Pet 1:3 NASB)

Through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence (Jesus), we receive the blessings of EVERYTHING that we need for a safe and good life as well as for our spiritual blessing (godliness). 

Study the Bible and read through the book of Proverbs regularly.  Reading one Proverb per day will take you through the book of Proverbs every month.  Add to that study, reading other Bible verses pertaining to wisdom throughout the Bible.  This is how you may pursue the Spirit of Wisdom. 

Add to that your prayers asking the Lord to teach you spiritual wisdom, and He will hear and answer your prayers.  Glory to God! 

The Lord Humbles & Exalts

The Lord Humbles & Exalts

Yes, the Lord will humble those who need it, but He is also the God who exalts people, too.  He’s the only Being who can make this decision, but we can cooperate with Him by obeying His Word and living by biblical standards.

Let’s read what the Bible says about this.

The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.  (1 Sam 2:7 NIV)

If you need financial prosperity or blessings of any kind, turn to the Lord and ask Him for what you need.  Find a few Bible passages that address your need and use them in asking the Lord for His help and blessing.

It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall.  (Ps 75:7 NLT)

It is truly God, alone, who judges.  Remember that.  He is the only One we need to please; He is the only One for whom we should live.  That’s not to say that we shouldn’t live in peace and harmony with our loved ones, our friends, and our community.  We should do that, also.

. . . he sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.  (Job 5:11 ESV)

Those who are meek and submissive to the Lord, attract His attention and His blessings.  Those who mourn are lifted from the depths of despair to safety by the loving hand of their Savior and Redeemer.  Hallelujah!

Our Work Pleases God

Our Work Pleases God

Does it surprise you to realize that our work pleases God?  I am making this claim based upon a number of Bible passages.  Please join me in my study. 

So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.  (Neh 4:6 NKJV)

Notice in the above verse that the ‘people had a mind to WORK.’  God blesses the work of our hands!  He doesn’t bless laziness or inactivity.

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.  (Ps 1:3 NKJV, emphasis added)

In the verse above from the first Psalm, notice that whatever a person DOES shall prosper!  Observe that the Lord is talking about action or movement here—about a person at work—not someone sitting around and dreaming.

Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening.  (Ps 104:23 NKJV)

God created a way for every living thing to have sustenance and a way to be blessed.  Work is a blessing to mankind.

The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them.  His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever.  He has made His wonderful works to be remembered.  (Ps 111:2-4 NKJV)

God, our Creator, also worked and that work is described as honorable and glorious.  Furthermore, the Lord created His works to be remembered.  Glory to God!

. . . comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.  (2 Thes 2:17 NKJV)

“Establish” means to support or sustain.  The prayer in 2 Thessalonians (above) is that God will uphold us in our good words and work.  God bless you!

Tender & Humble, Contrite Hearts

Tender & Humble, Contrite Hearts

Our God and Father cares about all of His people, but He especially watches over and saves people with:

  • tender [loving, gentle, compassionate];
  • humble [meek, unassuming]; and
  • contrite [remorseful, repentant] hearts.

Let’s examine some Bible passages on this topic.

“But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, in this manner you shall speak to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Concerning the words which you have heard—because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord.  Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.”’”  So they brought back word to the king.  (2 Kgs 22:18-20 NKJV)

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise.  (Ps. 51:17 NKJV)

For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:  “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”   (Isa 57:15 NKJV)

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.  (Ps 34:18 NKJV)

God will delay a plan that He has set in place in response to a tender and humble heart.  He looks with compassion upon people who are gentle and have repentance in their hearts. 

He wants to save and renew all those with remorseful and penitent hearts.

God desires to restore and renew all who have a broken heart, so if this describes your situation, turn to the Lord now.  He will prove Himself to be loving, merciful, and forgiving. Hallelujah!

Help Others & Do Good

Help Others & Do Good

The Scriptures teach us how to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord.  One clear instruction that is mentioned again and again is:  ‘help others; do good.’  Here are some relevant Bible verses:

Trust the Lord and do good; live in the land, and farm faithfulness.  (Ps 37:3 CEB)

Do not withhold what is good from those who deserve it; if it is within your power to give it, do it.  (Pro 3:27 VOICE)

Make your light shine, so others will see the good you do and will praise your Father in heaven.  (Mt 5:16 CEV)

So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith.  (Gal 6:10 ASV)

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.  (1 Thes 5:15 NIV)

If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, 16 you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help?   (Jas 2:15-16 CEV)

Helping others and doing good accomplishes a number of positive things.  Helping and blessing other people:

  • Makes the world a better place.
  • Makes us better people.
  • Creates a meaningful bond with people.
  • Strengthens community and is good for society.
  • Contributes to a long life.
  • Boosts our happiness, health, and sense of well-being.
  • Helps nurture our faith and inspires us to deepen our relationship with God.
  • Brings glory to God and generates a positive attitude towards believers.

When we help others, we join the Lord in the work that He is always doing. 

Service to others from a heart that loves, obeys, and follows God actually resonates in eternity.  (See Colossians 3:23-24 and Matthew 6:1-6) 

This is a clear calling from the Lord to every believer.  Rise up and answer the call, dear brothers, and sisters!  You are blessed.

A Christian’s Self-Worth and Love for Self

A Christian’s Self-Worth and Love for Self

As followers of Jesus Christ, how important is it for Christians to love themselves and to have a realization of self-worth?  Every person needs to realize their own value and importance.  It’s central for us, as believers, to view ourselves in the light of the Word of God and in view of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The Scriptures teach us in various ways that we are Individually valuable to God, and that we are precious in His sight. 

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. (Ps 139:13-14)

Know this:  every human being is fearfully and wonderfully made.  God’s works are wonderful, and we (as God’s creation) are a wonderful work of the Lord’s.  Glory to God!

“Then God said, “Let Us [Father, Son, Holy Spirit] make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.” So, God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  (Gen 1:26-27 AMP)

The fact is that God created us in His own image.  Wow!  Another interesting truth is that God has given us authority over the earth and over every living thing on it!  That’s a huge indication of God’s love for each individual—the only beings made in the image of God.  We are valued by the living God, and we are very important to Him.

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—  (1 Pet 2:4 NIV) 

Since we’ve accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord, the Bible tells us that we are CHOSEN by God and PRECIOUS to Him. 

“Chosen” means selected, preferred, and desired.  “Precious” means valued, greatly loved, treasured, and cherished.  Doesn’t that paint a portrait of someone who is esteemed and priceless to God?  Since this is so, we should love ourselves and walk in the dignity and majesty bestowed upon us by God’s evaluation of us.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (Eph 2:10)

Each and every believer is a Masterpiece by the work of the Master—Jesus Christ!  See yourself as the glorious masterpiece that you are.

You were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your bodies.  (1 Cor 6:20)

Because we are so valued by the Lord, an astronomical price was paid to purchase our redemption.  By dying on the cross, being buried, and rising again—all according to the Scripture (1 Cor. 15:3-4)—the Lord Jesus Christ paid for our redemption.  Hallelujah!

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.  (SOS 4:7)

The Lord declares that His children are beautiful.  Praise God!

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.  (Joh 10:28-30)

The best news of all is that no one has the power to snatch us out of the hand of the Lord, nor can anyone snatch us out of the hand of our Father God!  Glory to God most High!

For all of the above reasons, and many, many more, every believer should have a good sense of self-worth and self-value.  Therefore, we walk in humility and in obedience to the Lord and in service to our fellow human beings. 

If you would like to study additional Scriptures to investigate and realize your value to God, I recommend these passages:  Isaiah 41:10; Joshua 1:5, 9; Psalm 28:7; 63:1-8; Jeremiah 17:7; Lamentations 3:22-23; Luke 12:7; 2 Corinthians 190:12; Hebrews 4:16; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 3:3-4.  God bless you.

All Are Made Alive in Christ

All Are Made Alive in Christ

God has made believers alive together with Jesus Christ.  Hallelujah!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) . . .  (Eph 2:4-5 NASB)

For as in Adam all die, so also in the Messiah will all be made alive.  (1 Cor 15:22 ISV)

Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be constituted righteous. 20 Now the law came inso that the transgression may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, 21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Rom 5:18-21 NET)

Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.  (1 Cor 15:45-49 NIV)

Before a person becomes born-again, they are dead in their evils and sins.  Even when we were in that state, God loved us.  Because He loved us, He gave us a Savior and Redeemer. 

As believers in Christ, we identify with and are linked together with Christ in His resurrection.  Therefore, His life becomes our life.  Not only that, but the Lord gives us a brand-new type of life—eternal life.  (Rom 6:23)  Eternal life is our present possession!  That is almost too much for us to comprehend.

This is a precious and priceless gift, and we have reason to rejoice and thank the Lord!

Examples of the Patience of God

Examples of the Patience of God

Each and every believer is an example to the unsaved world of the mercy and patience of God!  The apostle Paul, claiming to be the worst of sinners, demonstrates this argument for us in 1 Timothy.

But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.  (1 Tim 1:16 NIV)

Seeing the various types of people who accept Christ as their Savior, and hearing their testimonies of forgiveness and salvation, encourages many unsaved observers that there is truly hope for them, too.  It may be the very thing that opens the door to the grace that they need to receive the precious gift of salvation.

This is why I tell you that her many sins have been forgiven; so [consequently] she has shown great love. The one who is forgiven little loves little.  (Lk 7:47 CEB – descriptive word in brackets added)

In Luke 7 above, we are shown that those who are forgiven MUCH are the very born-again believers who will respond with a great swell of love for others, especially the unsaved.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  (2 Pet 3:9 ESV)

In 2nd Peter, we clearly understand that the Lord is not disposed to see anyone lost and be ultimately destined for hell.  God’s desire is that ALL should turn away from their old life of sin and sorrow and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Redeemer and Lord.

These are just some of the scenarios that we can use to encourage ourselves to become faithful witnesses of God’s goodness, and for us to share with others to encourage them receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  Glory to God most High!