God Fulfills His Word: BELIEVE IT!

God Fulfills His Word: BELIEVE IT!

It’s essential for every follower of Jesus Christ to know without a doubt that God fulfills His Word.  The Bible states this truth in many different ways, and in many different passages of Scripture.  Let’s just look at a few.Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.  (Josh 21:45 NKJV)Notice that the above Bible verse states, “ALL came to pass.”  This is significant—don’t undervalue it.The Lord then said, “You are right, for I’m watching over my word until it is fulfilled.”  (Jer 1:12 CEB)This Scripture describes God as “watching over His Word” to make sure that it occurs exactly as He said that it would.  It gives us a picture of God not allowing anything to escape His notice or His attention.  He is guaranteeing that His own Word comes to pass.The Lord has done what He determined; He has accomplished His word . . . (Lam 2:17a NASB)I like this Scripture in the New American Standard Bible.  It is very clear and cannot be misunderstood!  God accomplished His Word.  End of story.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  (Lk 2:20 NIV, underscoring added)Note that everything that the shepherds heard and saw happened JUST AS THEY HAD BEEN TOLD!  This fulfills another Bible verse:. . . in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began . . .  (Tit 1:2 NKJV, emphasis added)We are simply called as BELIEVERS, to accept God’s Word as true, reliable, and trustworthy.  The Bible clearly says that God cannot lie.  Meditate upon this and stir up your faith, and your life, by radically believing God’s Word!  God bless you.

s

Don’t Make Yourself God’s Enemy

Don’t Make Yourself God’s Enemy

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have chosen to follow Christ above all things, especially above the world.  Jesus taught that we cannot be loved by this world because we are not truly a part of it.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.  (Mt 6:24 CEB) 

The Bible reminds us that we can’t serve two different masters.  So we must make a clear and firm choice about our allegiance.

 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, the world therefore hates you.  (Joh 15:19 MEV)

The world hates Christians because Jesus chose us out of the world, and we chose Jesus.  We have put Jesus first above all other relationships, alliances, and commitments.

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  (Jam 4:4 NKJV) 

Friendship with the world equals hostility toward God and the Word of God. Many in the world malign and ridicule believers, and all those who value the Bible.

Stop loving the world and the things that are in the world. If anyone persists in loving the world, the Father’s love is not in him. 16 For everything that is in the world—the desire for fleshly gratification, the desire for possessions, and worldly arrogance—is not from the Father but is from the world.  (1 Joh 2:15-16 ISV)

Everything—EVERYTHING—that is in the world [ambition, avariciousness, passions, arrogance] is connected with this world’s way of doing things; and does not connect to a love of God the Father.

As we continue to choose to follow Jesus and to obey God’s Word, we would do well to seek God’s face and ask Him for continuing grace to live a holy life.  We know that God hears and answers our prayers, so we may pray with confidence and assurance.  God bless you.

Hidden with Christ in God

<strong>Hidden with Christ in God</strong>

How are we “hidden with Christ in God”?  Let’s explore this thought.

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Col 3:3-4 NKJV)

As believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we have been set free from the law of sin and death.  (Rom 8:2)  We are set free from the power of sin. (Rom 6:7)  Since we are ‘dead’ to sin—or spiritually separated from it through salvation in Jesus—our lives are encompassed or contained in Jesus Christ. 

All of this simply means that we are in union with Jesus, our Savior.  We are one with Him.

On that day [when that time comes] you will know for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.  (Joh 14:20 AMP)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life 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 ESV)

As you can see from the two verses shown above, it is clear that we are forever in union with Jesus, and securely enfolded by our loving heavenly Father.

After a little while, the world no longer is going to see Me, but you are going to see Me; because I live, you also will live.   (Joh 14:19 NASB)

Being in union with Christ means that the past, present, and future aspects of our life are now and forever tied up and remain in union with Christ, and it began at the Cross when we died with Him. The condition of our lives may appear to contradict this truth, when difficulties rain down upon us, but no matter what life throws at us our union with Christ is 100% secure. 

(Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/colossians-3-3)

All of this reassures us to realize that we are safe and secure in Jesus.  He is our rock, our fortress, deliverer, strength, shield and our stronghold.  (Ps 18:2)  May God bless your day!

We Shall NOT Lack

<strong>We Shall NOT Lack</strong>

The Scriptures tell us that we shall not be in need nor have a shortage of daily provisions.  In fact, the Bible says that we who seek the Lord won’t lack ANY GOOD thing.  Wow!  What a precious and powerful promise that is.

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

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give favor and glory, for no good thing will He withhold from the one who walks uprightly.  (Ps 84:11 MEV, emphasis added)

The verse above goes on to say that NO GOOD THING will the Lord deny from those who walk uprightly.  Hallelujah!  This applies to believers because we are justified through Jesus Christ, our Savior.  Jesus is our righteousness. (Jer 23:6)  Also, spending time reading and meditating upon God’s Word cleanses each one of us daily.  This means that we may claim this verse for ourselves.

. . . 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)

This passage in second Peter, above, is very clear that the Lord has already given to us everything that we would ever need for a righteous and holy life through our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  (Rom 8:32 NIV)

This is a resounding declaration by the Holy Spirit that every believer who has accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord has been FREELY given ALL THINGS.  This is a mighty promise from God the Father to every believer.  Believe it and stand upon it. 

Rejoice in God’s promises and blessing to you, and worship Him with thanksgiving.  You are blessed.

Control Your Tongue

<strong>Control Your Tongue</strong>

We all know that it’s important to control what we say, but that doesn’t make it necessarily easy to do!  The Scriptures have quite a lot to teach us about this subject.

  • Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.  (Pro 4:24 ESV)

Crooked can mean dishonest, corrupt, twisted or unscrupulous.  Devious means sneaky, cunning, or scheming.  As followers of Jesus Christ, we can understand why neither of these would be admirable behavior for us.  The Holy Spirit would never lead us to act in such a way, particularly in light of Matthew 5:37; Colossians 3:9 and 4:6; and Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Eph 4:25 NIV)

  • All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them.  (Pro 8:8 NASB)

The psalmist is laying his heart before the Lord concerning the use of his tongue.  Let us each remember Psalm 12:6, The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. (NIV)  In imitating our Savior, we should speak pure words, full of righteousness.  Short of that, we should choose to be silent.

  • But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.   (Col 3:8 RSV)

This Bible verse (above) clearly tells us what type of behavior and conversation that we should reject.  And we are given a clear instruction of what we should communicate in Ephesians 4:29, Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  (NIV)  Our words should encourage, comfort, and bless other people.  In this way, we become ministers of the love and presence of the Lord to other people.

  • If you think you are being religious, but can’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is useless.  (Jam 1:26 CEV)

In the book of James, we’re reminded that controlling our tongues is a basic requirement for believers who represent the Lord Jesus and the kingdom of God. 

  • Obscene language, silly talk, or vulgar jokes aren’t acceptable for believers. Instead, there should be thanksgiving.  (Eph 5:4 CEB)

Thanksgiving is always appropriate.  Having an attitude of gratitude will improve our daily lives and generate a pleasant atmosphere for those around us.  Being thankful to other people, as well as to God for His many blessings, is always appreciated.

To sum up today’s article, here is one more Bible passage:

Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit . . .  (1 Pet 3:10 ESV) May God give you good days and continual blessings!

Be Law Abiding & Given to Good Works

<strong>Be Law Abiding & Given to Good Works</strong>

We are instructed by the Bible to live law-abiding lives and to perform good works to the glory of God.  Let’s look at what the Scriptures say:

My son, fear both the Lord and the king, and don’t keep company with rebels.  (Pro 24:21 ISV)

Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and give to God the things that are God’s.”  (Mt 22:21 NCV)

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  (Rom 13:1 NIV)

He gave himself to rescue us from everything evil and to make our hearts pure. He wanted us to be his own people and to be eager to do right.  (Tit 2:14 CEV)

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work . . . (Tit 3:1 NKJV)

Clearly, as believers, we must live in two different realms.  We live in this carnal world, which is very much opposed to the plans and purposes of God.  Simultaneously, we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom with Christ as our Lord and King. 

We’re called to represent Christ in the midst of this sinful and pain-filled society without allowing ourselves to become contaminated by it.  The only way that we can succeed is by obeying the Word of God; and by following the leading of the Holy Spirit as He counsels and leads us, individually.

By living holy lives and being valuable, law-abiding citizens, we prevent the gospel of Jesus Christ from being slandered and vilified. 

By living in peace and harmony with our neighbors, and importantly with other believers, we demonstrate our good works in:

  • being courteous to all;
  • doing good works within a civic framework as well as within a spiritual framework; and
  • submitting to our governing authorities.

These points are achieved practically in being honest in business; paying our taxes; being good neighbors; conducting ourselves in an orderly way; and obeying the laws of the land.  In conducting ourselves along these guidelines, we fulfill the Scripture that says:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  (Mt 10:16 KJV)  We are being wise and harmless!  Glory to God most high!

Being Strengthened & Established

<strong>Being Strengthened & Established</strong>

As we live our daily lives as believers and followers of Jesus, there should come times when we are strengthened and established, or recognized, in our faith.  Let’s take a look at some Scriptures concerning this topic:

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.  (Rom 1:11-12 NKJV)

Paul was writing to believers in Rome, saying that he wished to see them in order that he could impart [pass on] a spiritual gift to a number of them, and that he could encourage them in their faith—and be encouraged himself by them. 

First of all, do you realize that praying for each other is encouraging? 

And do you also realize that by praying for one another, we may reveal our own spiritual gifts and may even pass them on?  Well, it’s absolutely true! 

But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.  (Rom 15:29 NKJV)

Paul was confident that when he saw the believers in person, that he would be operating in the FULLNESS of the blessing of Christ’s gospel.  What faith!  This demonstrates the confidence of a man who relies completely upon the Word, and lives his life accordingly.  Glory to God!

So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.  (Ac 16:5 NIV)

When we are strengthened in our faith, we can’t help but share our experiences and testimonies with others.  When we do that, other people visit our churches in order to discover what is happening.  Their curiosity is provoked, and they want to investigate for themselves.

When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.  (Ac 19:6 NIV)

Praying for people, as you touch them, is a biblical and correct form of prayer.  This verse tells us that when Paul did this, the people that Paul touched came under the influence and presence of the Holy Spirit.  As a result these same people actually spoke in tongues and prophesied.  Hallelujah!  These are biblical results and we should be encouraged by them, and use them as our example.

A key tactic we can use to strengthen our faith is to read the Bible, and to the meditate upon it daily.  God bless you.

Clothe Ourselves with Virtue

<strong>Clothe Ourselves with Virtue</strong>

How can we clothe ourselves with virtue?  For that matter, how can we “put on love” as instructed in Colossians 3:14?  And note that Romans 13:14 tells us that we have “put on Christ,” as does Galatians 3:27.

And what virtues are we encouraged by God’s Word to put on?

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  (Col 3:12 NIV)

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  (Col 3:14-15 NIV)

Your love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to each other with mutual affection. Excel at showing respect for each other.  (Rom 12:9-10 ISV)

. . . with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love . . .  (Eph 4:2 NKJV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (Gal 5:22-23 NASB)

Wow!  This is an impressive list of virtues and good traits to pursue and to practice.

In the natural realm, when we want to be clothed, it is a conscious act of the will.  Our clothes don’t fly through the air and attach themselves to us, right?  We have to physically maneuver ourselves into the clothes, and then button or snap or zip them into place.  And we have to choose exactly what items we want to wear each and every day.

As believers and followers of Jesus, we must be just as deliberate about what virtues we choose to use in every circumstance and situation in our lives.  We must decide to be peacemakers, just as we must choose to be kind, humble, gentle, patient, peace-loving, joyful, faithful, and self-controlled. 

As we make the decision each new day to follow Jesus, we must make the decision in every circumstance and life situation about how to react to our current challenges or trials. 

In answer to our prayers to Him, the Lord will give us the grace and power that we need to weave these virtues into our lives.  The Holy Spirit will guide us if we yield to Him in humility and obedience. 

The Holy Spirit is the only One who can teach us and transform us into the image of Christ.  And best of all, He can be trusted to guide us lovingly and faithfully.  Hallelujah!

Enduring Faith Through Temptation & Testing

Enduring Faith Through Temptation & Testing

As believers in Jesus Christ, we must learn to persevere and to prevail in faith even in the midst of trials, temptations, and testing.  The grace of God will carry us through such times if only we rely upon the Lord.

The Scriptures talk frequently about the ways in which we will face tribulations, adversity, and hardships in our walk of faith.  And to the overcomers, the Lord will give a crown of life.  Praise God!

My brothers and sisters, think of the various tests you encounter as occasions for joy. After all, you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let this endurance complete its work so that you may be fully mature, complete, and lacking in nothing.  (Jas 1:2-4 CEB)

Such difficult and painful life encounters produce a tenacious and durable faith.  Exactly what we need for life on this earth.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  (Jas 1:12 NKJV)

When we come through temptation victoriously, we will have tasted and experienced the sustaining grace of God at work in our lives.

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  (Mt 10:22 NIV)

Expect to be hated and persecuted, because Jesus also experienced such treatment.

You greatly rejoice in this, even though you have to suffer various kinds of trials for a little while, so that your genuine faith, which is more valuable than gold that perishes when tested by fire, may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus, the Messiah, is revealed.  (1 Pet 1:6, 7 ISV)

Our faith is more precious than gold; and just like gold, our faith is tested and tried in order to purify, concentrate, and refine it.  Our coming through testing triumphantly results in glory and honor being given to Jesus.  What an honor!

God’s Understanding is Unsearchable

God’s Understanding is Unsearchable

The Bible points out to us that God is far beyond our understanding, despite the fact that we may have a loving and very genuine personal knowledge of Him.  Let us look at some Scriptures:

“Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him!  But the thunder of His power who can understand?”  (Job 26:14 NKJV)

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  (Isa 40:28 NIV)

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.  (Ps 145:3 NKJV)

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.  (Ps 147:5 NKJV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isa 55:8-9 NIV)

Clearly, we can see from these passages that God is more complex than our finite minds or emotions can grasp.  We cannot know the limits of His power, greatness, thoughts, wisdom, or ways.  We can’t even perceive everything there is to be known about even one facet of His character.  Of course, our acquaintance with sin and the world limits our ability to understand God, as well.

The impeccable harmony and agreement of God’s qualities simply highlight the complexity of God’s nature.  Another element of our challenge as believers is that God is infinite, and we are not. 

It is clear from the Word of God that some secret things are the domain of the Lord alone.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”  (Deu 29:29 ESV)

The joyous truth for us is that there have been many revelations given to believers, and the most important one is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Col 1:26-27 ESV)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  (Rom 10:9-10 NIV) And one glorious day we will be in heaven with the Lord, and many mysteries will be revealed to us.  And yet, I believe that throughout eternity there will always be new and wonderful insights that the Lord will open to our understanding.  What a joy to contemplate!  God bless you.