Life is About Much More Than Possessions

Life is About Much More Than Possessions

Life on earth is comprised of human beings, needs, wants/desires, relationships, jobs/callings, accomplishments, and many more categories.  It would be a challenge to try to list everything that is included in day to day human life because it can be very broad and very detailed.  It would cover too much to be able to list, in reality.

One trait that is negative that is sometimes a part of human life is greed.  Thankfully, it isn’t everywhere or in all people, but it is certainly there and it is definitely negative.

The Lord has been teaching humanity various lessons since the beginning of creation.  Here are some samples from His Word.

But He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one is affluent does his life consist of his possessions.”  (Lk 12:15 NASB)  This is a warning against greed and an inordinate affection for possessions.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  (Col 3:5 NKJV)  Covetousness (another word for greed) is named among a list of sins in the Bible.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Heb 13:5 NKJV)  This passage in the Bible instructs us to be free of greed, and to be content with what we have. 

Rather, we are told to remember what is TRULY important:  that Jesus has promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. 

What a beautiful and meaningful promise from our Savior!

What is a Buckler?

What is a Buckler?

When we read certain versions of the Bible, there are terms or words used that we may not understand.  I know in the King James Version of the Bible, there are quite a number of words that are not used in modern times and they can confuse us. 

One such term is the word buckler.  Here are the definitions of this word:

1a: a small round shield held by a handle at arm’s length. 1b: a shield worn on the left arm. 2: one that shields and protects.

Here are several Bible verses that use this word. 

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.  (Ps 18:2 NKJV, emphasis added)

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.  (2 Sam 22:31 NKJV, emphasis added)

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  (Ps 91:14 NKJV, emphasis added)

As you can see from the definitions of the word buckler, you’ll notice that it was a means of protection; it could be worn on the left arm; and it could be said of One who shields and protects.  Clearly the third definition seems to best apply to the Lord.  He is certainly One who shields us and protects us.  He is like a mother bird who protects her young under the shelter of her own wings.  (Ps 91:14)

God’s truth is also called our shield and buckler.  (Ps 91:14)  Since God and His Word are in total unity, it is not surprising that He and His Word are portrayed by the same words. Just remember whenever you need shielding or protecting, you should turn to our Redeemer and Savior, Jesus.  He will not fail to protect you! 

God Calls Us to Love Our Christian Family, Pt. 2

God Calls Us to Love Our Christian Family, Pt. 2

This is part two on this topic of loving our Christian brothers and sisters.  This is a very important subject to the Lord.  He has included so much information in His Word for us about this very thing.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.  (1 Joh 4:11-12 NKJV)

As we demonstrate and live in a helpful, loving way toward our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are revealing to the world, and to anyone who cares to notice, that God abides in us.  It is His life in us that enables and empowers us to serve one another in love.

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  (Joh 15:12)  Jesus modeled loving service in His life on earth.  He showed love to His followers and to all those who came to Him for help or for teaching.  The Lord Jesus is completely entitled to tell us to follow His example.

In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.  (1 Joh 3:10)  This says it quite baldly:  an unrighteous life and an unloving attitude to a brother is proof that we are NOT ‘of God.’  Wow!  The only alternative to being ‘of God’ is to be a child of the devil, and we absolutely do NOT WANT to be identified as that.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?  (1 Joh 4:20 NKJV)  How can we possibly say that we love God if we can’t show love and helpfulness to people with whom we can interact, communicate, and see!  God is being completely reasonable here.

Here are some hints on ways to show love to others:

  • Be kind
  • Be open-minded, friendly, and able to make the first move
  • Empathize
  • Be genuine
  • Expect nothing in return
  • Be a good listener
  • Allow others to make their own decisions
  • Love in small ways
  • Keep showing up, and
  • Look for ways that you can be of help to the individual or family.

We can do this because God has said that we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS!  (Rom 8:37)  Hallelujah!

God Calls Us to Love Our Christian Family, Pt. 1

God Calls Us to Love Our Christian Family, Pt. 1

We have received spiritual assignments due to the fact that all believers comprise the body of Christ on earth.  Because we are children of God, we are His representatives wherever we go and with whoever we meet.  Here are some scriptures concerning some of our instructions/assignments:

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.  (1 Pet 2:17 NKJV, underscoring added)

In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.  (1 Joh 3:10 NKJV)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  (1 Joh 4:7-8 NKJV, underscoring added)

1 John 4:7 clearly states that ‘love is of God.’  That means that love is the description of and the province of God.   We are instructed to love the brotherhood (1 Pet 2:17)—which means that we should love all of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  It goes without saying that we are also instructed to love ALL people (1 Joh 4:7).

We are encouraged to honor all people, as well.  (1 Pet 2:17)   Honor means to esteem, respect, or admire someone.  Wow!  Can you think about giving honor to ALL PEOPLE?  That’s a huge responsibility and a tremendous challenge.  The only way that we can fulfill this command is to ask God to give us His grace and His blessing to enable us to obey.

Critical and significant assignments from our Savior require us to walk closely with Him in unity and companionship.  Only by an obedient and humble relationship with the Lord will we be able to receive the grace, insights and the wisdom that we need to enable us to fulfill our assignments.  God is our strength and our song!  (Ex 15:2; Ps 118:14)  All glory to God most High!

Can Anything Separate Us from God’s Love?

Can Anything Separate Us from God’s Love?

Here’s something positive to focus upon and to meditate upon.  God’s love for us is stronger than any force that would try to interrupt it or stop it.  His love for us is eternal, unfailing and sacrificial. 

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Rom 8:38-39 NKJV)

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.  (Eph 5:2 NKJV, underscoring added)

“I made your name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have for me may be in them and I myself may be in them.” (John 17:26 ISV)

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.  (1 Cor 13:8 NKJV)

Most human beings desire and need to feel loved.  It is a normal and healthy need that I believe our creator God instilled in us.  And since God is love (1 Joh 4:8), He is the perfect One to fulfill the need that we have for love.

From the Bible verses I’ve included above, you can see a small sample of what God has to share with us in His Word about His wonderful love.  The best way to learn about His love and the enduring nature of it is to read and to meditate upon His Word.  His Word is not only His promises to us but His Word is also His will for us!

God has created each one of us to be in a loving and lasting relationship with Him.  Turn to Him when you need comfort and reassurance.  Pray to Him when you need human arms to hold you, help you and to comfort you.  He will send you some friends or relatives who will be able and willing to meet your need for love.  Glory to God!


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Leave a Little Sparkle Wherever You Go

Leave a Little Sparkle Wherever You Go

All believers have the life of the Spirit of God within them.  We carry His glory in our ‘earthen vessels.’  (2 Cor 4:6-7)

The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock.  They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.  (Zec 9:16 NIV, emphasis added)

The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.  (Isa 60:3 NKJV, emphasis added)

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  (Mt 5:16 NIV)

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.  (2 Cor 2:14 ESV)

We who follow the Lord Jesus, as obedient and loyal human sheep, have been privileged and blessed to carry the kingdom of God with us.  It is our calling and our honor to shine the light of God’s love, mercy and wisdom into every situation and exchange in which we take part.

When unsaved, hurting and needy people interact with us, they should walk away with the sense that they have encountered someone who is out of the ordinary, good, and encouraging.  This is because we are called to perform good works and good deeds.  We are called to SHINE a light into dark places, into dark troubles, and into evil practices.

We are reminded in 2 Corinthians 2:14 that Christ leads us in triumph and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of HIM everywhere!  A fragrance is defined as:  a pleasant, sweet smell; a sweet or delicate aroma; and a pleasing odor.  It is true that the experiential knowledge of Jesus and a deep relationship with him is evidenced by a positive atmosphere, and even an attractive fragrance such as a perfume. All of these Scriptures encourage us to be a force for good as representatives of the Kingdom here on earth.  Go ahead and leave a little sparkle (of the love and goodness of Jesus) wherever you go!

Baptized into Christ

Baptized into Christ

When we received Christ as our Savior and Lord and were baptized in water, we were baptized into His death.  Wow!  That sounds a little dark, huh?

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  (Rom 6:3 NIV)

But the triumphant news is that we, who were baptized into Christ’s death, now live with Him and through Him, as the following Scriptures attest.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him . . .  (Rom 6:8)

This is a faithful saying:  For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.  (2 Tim 2:11)

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  (Gal 2:20, underscoring added)

Christ lives in each and every believer!

For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  (2 Cor 4:11) 

Believers are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake because we are denying ourselves, by dying to our flesh, in order to follow and to obey Jesus and His earthly example.  (See Colossians 3:5)

All who follow the Lord Jesus Christ, who have accepted Him as their Savior and have been water baptized, have been baptized into the body of Christ—His Church.  Praise His Holy Name!

Our Mediator

Our Mediator

Jesus Christ is the ONLY mediator (intermediary, conciliator) between God and mankind.  There is no other, despite what other religious philosophies may affirm.

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus . . .  (1 Tim 2:5)

There is no arbitrator between us, who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were].  (Job 9:33 AMP)  In the Old Testament, the thought of a mediator between God and mankind was considered a hoped-for dream.  This is because ONLY Jesus Christ is both God and man.  Jesus is able to comprehend both man and God.

A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.  (Gal 3:20 NIV)  A mediator comes between two parties, persons, or points of view.  A mediator is a go-between or an agent for both points of view.  

This is why he’s the mediator of a new covenant (which is a will): so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance on the basis of his death. His death occurred to set them free from the offenses committed under the first covenant.  (Heb 9:15 CEB)  Jesus is the mediator of the New Testament.  Jesus is our Peacemaker.  Glory to God most High!

Prayer & Faith

Prayer & Faith

Prayer that arises from faith in Jesus in our hearts accomplishes wonderful and mighty blessings.  Another beneficial tool that believers have is anointing people with oil, and laying hands on them in prayer.  In the Scriptures, oil represents the Holy Spirit.  In the New Testament the laying on of hands was associated with Christ healing the sick (Luke 4:40)

Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.  (Jas 5:14-15 NIV)  In this case, we are encouraged to ask the elders of the church to pray for the sick after anointing them with oil.

And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them. (Mk 6:13)  This passage is referring to the apostles’ doing good works, including casting out demons, anointing the sick with oil and healing them.  Praise God!

And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him.  (Ac 28:8)  The Apostle Paul laid hands on Publius after praying for him, and healed Publius.

These are procedures that the apostles used, because they had seen Jesus Christ (our example) using them.  Modern believers should use these same methods and practices in order to see the same results.

Remember, all signs, wonders and miracles are a result of faith in Jesus Christ and in focusing upon Him and His love and mercy.  Faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8) and we should cherish it, value it, and thank and praise God for it. Hallelujah!

Two Important Instructions

Two Important Instructions

We are instructed by God’s Word to do two central things: 

(1)  do good deeds, and

(2) to search for and practice being at peace with all people.

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  (Ps 34:14 NIV)  Turn away from evil (in thought, word, and deed).  Do good to others and look for (and chase after) inspired ways to be at peace with all people.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord . . .  (Heb 12:14)  Follow peace, and practice peace—as well as living a righteous life; for without these things, no man will see the Lord.

Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.  (1 Pet 3:11)

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.  (Gal 6:10)  We are told to do good to all, especially our brothers and sisters in the faith.

This is not as easy as it may sound!  “DO GOOD TO ALL” does not give the impression of being difficult, right?  However, when you think about “doing good” to people you don’t particularly like, to a malicious co-worker, to a mean store clerk, or to those who are unappealing and unpleasant, then the challenge comes much more clearly into focus. 

The Lord also wants us to be at peace with these kinds of people:  all who are obnoxious and unlovable. 

We were created in the image of God (Gen 1:27), and God loves each and every human being.  He wants all people to be saved.  (2 Pet 3:9)  People are won over to Christ and to the gospel of salvation through our lives and through our testimonies.  They are also won over by our kindnesses and our good deeds. They are persuaded by our actions to those who are unlovely.

Following Christ’s example will bring forth eternal fruit for the Kingdom of God.