An Established Throne

An Established Throne

As we read the Bible, we can see a consistent theme running throughout:  that God desires ALWAYS to do good to His people.  As we follow Christ obediently, by faith, we are one of God’s people.  Furthermore, He has decreed that His throne and His kingdom shall prevail forever.

Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.  (2 Sam 7:16 NIV)

. . . 10 since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. Also I will subdue all your enemies. Furthermore I tell you that the Lord will build you a house. 11 And it shall be, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. 14 And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.”  (1 Chron 17:10-14 NKJV)

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.  (Ps 103:19 CEB)

A throne will be established in mercy. In the tent of David a judge will sit on the throne in truth, seeking justice, eager to bring righteousness.  (Isa 16:5 EHV)

Why should God’s promise to establish a throne forever be good news to us?  Here are a few points for your meditation and reflection.

  • God, who knows EVERYTHING, is on our side.  (Ps 118:6-7 ESV; Heb 13:5)
  • God, who is ALL POWERFUL, is 100% for us.  (Ps 56:9b; Isa 41:10; Mt 28:20)
  • God is all-wise, and He shares His wisdom with us through His word.  (Ps 111:10; Pro 2:6; Lk 21:15; Jas 1:5)
  • God has good plans for each one of us.  (Jer 29:11; 1 Cor 2:9)
  • God is our healer.  (Ex 15:26; Ps 30:2; Jer 30:17; 1 Pet 2:24)
  • The Lord fights for us.  (Deu 3:22; 20:14; Josh 23:10)
  • The Lord has given us the victory.  (Deu 20:4; Rom 8:37; 1 Cor 15:57; Col 2:15; 1 Joh 5:4)

God’s plans for us are good.  He not only fights on our side, but He has already given us the victory! Hallelujah!

Keep Away from Evil

Keep Away from Evil

As servants of the Living God and followers of Jesus Christ, we should have a sincere desire to stay away from evil in every form:  evil thoughts; evil words; evil people; and even occasions to be tempted to commit evil.  If we obey the Lord, and obey the Scriptural command to be holy (1 Pet 1:16), this will make sense to us.

By mercy and truth atonement is made for wrongdoing, and by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.  (Pro 16:6 NASB)  If we have a respectful reverence for the Lord, it will keep us away from doing evil.  If we have done evil in some way, and if there is an avenue open to us to make amends for it, God’s gifts of mercy and truth will guide us to the right path. For any sin that we may commit, we need to repent to the Lord and ask Him to forgive us and to cleanse us from unrighteousness. The GOOD news is that He always hears and answers these prayers for forgiveness and cleansing. Praise God!

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  (Joh 17:15 ESV)  I believe Jesus was praying for all who would accept Him as their Lord and Savior and follow Him all of their days.  The Lord prayed for His followers (US) to be kept away from the evil one who is satan.  The evil one and his works are described in John 8:44.

But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”  (1 Cor 5:13)  This is language similar to Deuteronomy 24:7 regarding excluding people, those who are indulging in evil, from the fellowship of believers. 

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  (Eph 4:31)  The Scriptures exhort us to avoid indulging in any of these activities, because they do not honor the Lord nor do they flow from the heart of God.

Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.  (1 Pet 3:11)  We must always choose to reject evil actions, and turn to the Lord.  When we follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace, we will seek and pursue peace with all of our hearts. 

Let us highly value peace in our hearts, in our relationships, and in our lives.  The peace of God which passes all understanding (Phil 4:7) encompasses within it wholeness, maturity, and completeness as well as freedom from turmoil and worry. Focus upon serving Jesus and doing good, and you will be blessed.  Hallelujah!

What’s Your Decision?

What’s Your Decision?

Whom would you rather serve?  You would do well to read our last blog titled Two Paths.  It will shed light upon this article.

Every human being on earth must make a decision whether to serve Jesus, the Son of the Living God; or to serve satan, known as the accuser of the brethren.  (Rev 12:10)

What does the Bible say about Jesus?  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  (Joh 10:10b NKJV)

The Scriptures warn us to “make our election sure.”  The Lord tells us in His Word how each and every believer may confirm and safeguard his future in eternity:

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.  10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  (2 Pet 1:5-11 NKJV, emphasis added)

After we have accepted the Lord Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer, we do well to submit ourselves to the cleansing that comes to us through daily reading and meditation upon the Bible.  Read for yourself the truth of this statement:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  (Eph 5:25-27 NKJV, underscoring added)

Also, the Holy Spirit will teach us and lead us into all truth as we read the Word of God regularly.  (Joh 16:13) 

Trust the Lord to teach you and to guide you.  Allow Him to make changes in your life day by day, year by year, and decade by decade.  In so doing, you will bear fruit and make your calling and election sure!  God bless you.

Two Paths

Two Paths

In life, there are only two paths to choose from.  Please, recognize this statement for the truth that it is.

We may choose to live for God and the Kingdom of righteousness; or we may sink to serving satan who is the enemy of God and the enemy of all that is good and true, peaceful and holy.

The ancient Hebrew word for satan means “accuser” or “adversary.” Why would we want to serve the being who is named “accuser”?

My heartfelt question is “Why would anyone choose to serve the kingdom of darkness?”  Let’s look at what the Scriptures have to say.  I’m going to put the Bible verses in categories to help to clarify this study.

About the Kingdom of God & Jesus

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . .  (Gal 5:22 NKJV)

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  (Joh 10:10b NKJV, emphasis added)

. . . and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  (Phil 4:7 NKJV)

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.  (1 Cor 14:33 NKJV)

About the Kingdom of Darkness & satan

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.  (Jas 3:16 NKJV)

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  (Joh 8:44 ESV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  (Joh 10:10a NKJV)

Warnings from Scripture

Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  (Eph 6:11 ESV)  We have to protect ourselves with the spiritual tools that the Lord has given to every believer.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  (1 Pet 5:8 NKJV)  We believers need to be vigilant and review our lives on a fairly regular basis so that we don’t allow even the smallest entry for the devil.

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.  (Rev 12:20 NKJV, underscoring added)  Know that the enemy will surely receive his eternal punishment which is described here.

Conclusions

The Bible informs us of key things we should know about the enemy and his realm.  In the kingdom of darkness, the atmosphere is full of envy, self-seeking, confusion, lies and every evil thing.  The beings who populate that realm enjoy killing, stealing, lying and destruction.  The future holds a grim reality for satan and for all who choose to serve him: 

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  (Rev 20:10 NKJV)  This is an eternal, never-ending punishment. 

The Bible informs us that Jesus came to impart life not only here on earth, but for all eternity to those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior.  That is why John 10:10 says “more abundantly.”  When we serve Jesus and His Kingdom, we experience love, joy and peace.  We become a member of the family of God.  And lastly, when we become a child of God we experience the peace that passes all understanding.  (Phil 4:7)  Glory to God most High!

Sow Righteousness

Sow Righteousness

The concept of sowing and reaping is an important one in the Scriptures.  We are instructed by the Lord to sow righteousness.  How may we do that?

The wicked man does deceptive work, but he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.  (Pro 11:18)  We are taught by God’s Word, that those who “sow righteousness” will have a certain reward.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  (Gal 6:7)  We are warned that whatever we sow, we shall also reap. 

In other words, if a person sows corn, they will produce a corn crop.  If they sow malice and hatred, they will gather heartache and sorrow.  If we sow love and mercy in order to honor the Lord, then we will harvest blessings for ourselves and our children.

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  (Gal 6:8)  If we satisfy our own fleshly desires and sinful nature, we will collect only decay and death as a result.  But if we will sow to the Spirit (or sow righteousness), we will harvest eternal life and many of God’s blessings along the way..

The Bible makes it very clear that the seed that every believer should sow is the Word of God.  When we sow the Word of God, we sow righteousness.

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.  (1 Pet 1:23 NIV)

The seed is the word of God.  (Lk 8:11b NIV)

Sharing our testimony with other people, inviting people to visit our church so that they can hear the Good News, and praying for the salvation of people that we know are also beautiful ways to sow righteousness.  Praising God and supporting the Kingdom of God financially, as well as doing good works, are other righteous seeds to plant.  Blessings upon you!

Tears Are Important to God

Tears Are Important to God

Never think that your tears are unimportant to God.  They are exceedingly important to Him.

In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’”  Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.  And the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city.”  (Isa 38:1-6, emphasis added)

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.  (Rev 22:4)  Just as human parents do not like to see their crying and in pain, even so, our heavenly Father loves to dry our eyes and to remove pain from our lives and our bodies.

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.  (2 Cor 7:10)  Godly sorrow and tears, called repentance, are not to be regretted for they produce the fruit of righteousness.  But worldly sorrow, doesn’t work that way.  Repentant tears are seen and valued highly by the Lord.

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)  This is a prophetic Scripture concerning the work of Christ and the future–when the fullness of God’s plan will be seen and manifested in heaven, and He will wipe away our every tear.

In the meantime, understand that God sees our tears and he collects them in a bottle.  (Ps 56:8)  He is aware of our sorrows and pains.

Jesus Christ has fulfilled His work by coming to earth; living a sinless life; suffering and dying; and being resurrected from the grave by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Glory to God!

One day, in heaven, the Lord wipe away tears from all faces, and we will serve Him and praise Him for all eternity.  What joy!

Good Gifts

Good Gifts

Every good thing that we receive in life, no matter how it comes to us, is a blessing from God.  We need to recognize the truth of this principle.  What does the Bible teach us?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  (Jas 1:17 NKJV)

This verse clearly supports the premise that I offered in the first sentence of this article.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!  (Mt 7:11 NKJV)

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”  (Lk 11:13 NKJV)

Both of the passages above say clearly that if we, as human parents, understand the desire to shower good gifts upon our own children, then surely we must recognize that God’s desire is also to do good and to bless His spiritual children.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (Jer 29:11 NIV)  God plan is to prosper each one of us and to give each of us hope and a good future.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  (Rom 8:28 NIV)  God is telling all who have accepted Christ as their Savior that He works for our GOOD in every circumstance of life.  Praise God!

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will . . .  (Eph 1:11 ESV)  God has given each and every believer an inheritance, which is not only eternal but it is GOOD.  Thank the Lord most High!

What is ‘Devout’?

What is ‘Devout’?

Can you be called devout?  The definition of devout:  heartfelt; spiritual; fervent; pious; dedicated and committed.

When the Scriptures speak about someone who is devout, they are giving recognition and praise to such individuals. 

. . . a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.  (Ac 10:2)

Alms means donations, gifts, or offerings.  This verse from the Bible says a devout man gave donations and gifts generously to people, AND he prayed to God continuously.  That sounds very spiritually impressive, doesn’t it?

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.  (Ac 2:5)

Notice that devout men (and women) can and should come from everywhere on the earth!

Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.  (Ac 13:43)

A proselyte is a person who has converted from one opinion, religion, or party to another.  These new converts followed Paul and Barnabas around, learning from them and wanting to spend time with them.  Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch where Paul’s teachings about Jesus were well-received by some of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. So, when Paul explains God’s salvation has come through Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, the listeners joyfully realize that formal worship in Jerusalem isn’t required or necessary. God will meet them wherever they are, and be with them without sacrifices of any kind.  

Paul and Barnabas encouraged these devout new converts to continue in the grace of God and to remain in His favor.  They encouraged the new believers to carry on in faith and prayer, and obedience which would be connecting with God’s favor. The “gospel” is called the grace (favor) of God, and the new converts were exhorted to persevere in their connection to the gospel by continuing in faith to trust in Jesus.

If we all would like to be categorized as devout, then we should continue in the grace of God also.  God bless you.

Peace Must Rule

Peace Must Rule

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  (Col 3:15)

Synonyms of RULE:  govern, administrate, lead or control. 

Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace.”  (Isa 9:6)  He is our Savior and Lord, and we must follow Him in all that we do.  We must allow His peace to control and lead everything that we do and everything that we pursue in life and in ministry. 

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  (Ps 100:4)

Praise, thankfulness and blessing work in beautiful harmony with peace.  As we exalt, praise and bless the Lord, thankfulness arises in our hearts.  The overflow of that thankfulness will result in our being a blessing and a joy to other people as we minister God’s love to them.  And peace will be the result.

. . . and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  (Phil 4:7)

God’s peace exceeds and transcends any other definition of the word.  His peace goes so far beyond and is so much better than any human concept of peace that it will always outperform the human version of peace! 

Therefore, allow yourself to be ruled by God’s peace, so that your life will be blessed and others will be blessed in your presence.  Glory to God!