The Treasure Within

The Treasure Within

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.  (2 Cor 4:6-7 NKJV – underlining added)

With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us, protect the good treasure that has been entrusted to you.  (2 Tim 1:14 ISV – underlining added)

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.  (Joh 14:23 NASB)

Our treasure (salvation, the indwelling presence of God) is in earthen vessels (our bodies)!  We carry the Lord in us and with us.  What a valuable treasure we carry within!  It is hard to fathom—almost too much to process. 

We carry a treasure within that is FAR GREATER than anything this world has to offer.

Whenever we read, study, or meditate upon the Bible, we are actually discovering and learning more about this treasure.  Use the Bible as your map and your guidebook.  Recognize that you carry the glory of God within you!  (Col 1:27)

Appreciate the fact that because Jesus is your Savior and Lord, you are entitled to all of the blessings and benefits that He has purchased for you.  In Christ, YOU are valuable—priceless.  The Bible says that:

  • You are the head and not the tail (Deu 28:13);
  • You are God’s masterpiece—His work of art (Eph 2:10 NLT);
  • Christ has purchased the victory for you (1 Cor 15:57);
  • . . . with God all things are possible. (Mt 19:26)
  • You are the apple of His eye (Zech 2:8); and
  • You are chosen by God and precious to Him (1 Pet 2:4).

Make the Word of God your highest priority.  Determine today that you will obey and highly value the Word of God.  Cherish the truth that you are the temple of the Lord and that He is with you always.  (Deu 31:8; Josh 1:5; 1 Cor 6:19) 

As you do, you will inherit the blessings that God yearns to pour out upon you.

Enthusiasm for the Christian Walk

Enthusiasm for the Christian Walk

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  (Rom 12:11-12)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  (Gal 6:9)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters . . . (Col 3:23)

It’s not a bad idea to pray for enthusiasm for your spiritual life!  The verses above show us the importance of spiritual zeal.  Zeal means passion, or intensity.

The word “enthusiasm” is from the Greek enthusiasmoms. It means inspired by God.  Our Christian walk will get stale and boring if we are not inspired by God on a daily basis.  One way we can receive inspiration is to read the Bible daily.  Another way would be to spend time in the presence of God, not just in prayer, but also listening for His voice.  If you’re willing to hear from God, He will surely give you His insight, wisdom, and revelation knowledge.

Another great way to maintain your passion for the Lord, is to praise and worship Him regularly.  You can listen to good CDs and join along in song.  Or you can go to your prayer closet and have a heart to heart session of praising God and thanking Him for His many blessings. 

There are some great online venues for ongoing praise and worship you can check out, as well.

As you seek the Lord and His will for you, and keep your ears open for His voice, you will realize that these disciplines will assist you in maintaining your spiritual zeal and energy.  Don’t be surprised to feel your faith and trust in God growing as you do.  God bless you.

“I Shall Not Die”

“I Shall Not Die”

Can it ever be the “wrong” thing to say (along with Psalm 118:17), “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”

First of all, how could agreeing with the Bible be wrong to do?  Some people will say, “Yes, but I knew a brother who confessed that verse but then he passed away, so it was wrong for him to confess that.”  I strongly disagree with this thinking.

Doesn’t the Bible TELL us to hide God’s word in our hearts (memorize it)?  See Deuteronomy 6:6; 11:18; 30:14; Job 22:22; Psalm 19:14. 

Furthermore, doesn’t Romans 10:8 give us specific instructions?

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach) . . .  (Rom 10:8) When the word is in our mouths, it means that we are speaking it out loud.

This passage from the Bible specifically says that God’s word should be in our mouths and in our hearts.  “Yes,” someone might say, “but maybe NOT certain passages of the Word.” 

Again, I cannot agree.  Doesn’t the very foundation of our faith state that when we accept Christ as our personal Savior and Lord that we have received ETERNAL LIFE

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (Joh 17:3)

. . . that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  (Joh 3:15)

So for any believer, at ANY time in their lives, to declare that “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” is completely in keeping with their faith and their lifelong testimony. 

It is good to understand and to know that when we graduate into eternity, we shall most certainly be ALIVE, and we shall be “declaring the works of the Lord” forever! 

Thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, believers move from victory to victory.  So, be BOLD and CERTAIN in your faith, brothers and sisters!

Predicted Perilous Times

Predicted Perilous Times

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come . . .  (2 Tim 3:1)

For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!  (2 Tim 3:2-5)

Many of you already know that the Bible repeatedly mentions the last days.  This is a term that typically is understood to refer to a period when historical events would reach a final climax.  Whether or not theologians disagree on the terminology, we can all agree that we are living in perilous times. The Scripture passage shown above in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 describes what types of behavior we would see in the last days

If we are very honest, we have to admit that yes, we do see all of these behaviors in evidence in our world today.  So how should we respond to our perilous times?

The Bible shows us the way:

  • Read the Bible. (Josh 1:8; Neh 8:3; Ro 10:17)
  • Obey the Bible. (Joh 14:23; Jas 1:22)
  • Understand that Christians will at some point or other suffer persecution. (Mk 10:30; 2 Tim 3:12)
  • Follow Christ’s example in all things. (Joh 13:13-16; Lk 9:23; 1 Cor 11:1)
  • Allow the Scriptures to read you, correct you, and to transform you. (Heb 4:12; 2 Tim 3:16-17; Rom 12:2)
  • Love your enemies; pray for those who hurt you or abuse you. (Lk 6:27-28)
  • Resist the devil. (Jas 4:7)

Let us be obedient to the Word of God, and followers of Jesus, our example.

Know God = Have Strength & Courage

Know God = Have Strength & Courage

Pursuing a deep, profound knowledge of God and His nature will impart courage and strength to your soul.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  (Josh 1:9)

. . . the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.  (Dan 11:32b, emphasis added)

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.  (Mt 11:12)

. . . strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”  (Ac 14:22)

The better you know God, which is a consequence of studying the Bible and spending time in the presence of the Lord, the greater courage, strength, and boldness you’ll have to serve Him. 

  • You’ll have boldness to be His ambassador on the earth, enforcing the will of God on earth as it is in Heaven. (Mt 6:10) 
  • You’ll have courage and authority to step out in faith and heal the sick, preach the Word, and to testify of God’s love for all mankind. (Deut 31:6; Ps 27:1; 56:3-4; Isa 41:10, 13; Mt 10:1; Mk 6:7; 10:8; Lk 9:1-2; 10:19)
  • Lastly, you’ll have the strength and perseverance needed to pass through tribulations, and to enter the kingdom of God. (Ac 14:22; Col 1:11; Phil 4:13; Ro 15:5)

Deepen your relationship with the Lord so that you KNOW Him deeply; and become bold, strong, and courageous today!

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 2

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 2

We are continuing with our topic from the last article. 

Here are various Bible passages that tell us what we need to do in order to go to heaven when our physical body dies.

  • Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. (Mt 10:32)  Jesus is speaking in this verse.
  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)
  • And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (Joh 6:40)
  • And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (Joh 10:28)  Jesus is speaking here.
  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lor (Rom 6:23)
  • . . . that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  (2 Cor 5:19)
  • For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21)
  • In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 Joh 4:9-10)

In order to enter into heaven, all of these Scriptures point us to the person of Jesus Christ.  Once we believe the truth of these verses and accept Jesus as our own, personal Savior and Redeemer, we are born again or “born anew.”  In fact, we become a new creation in Christ Jesus.  (2 Cor 5:17; Eph 2:10; Rom 6:3-4) 

Once we’ve accepted Christ as our Savior, we’re qualified to enter into heaven.  We also become eligible to receiving the benefit of every promise of blessing that is shown in the Bible!  Knowing that this is true prepares each one of us to lead lives of significance in the here and now.  Choose living for Jesus right now, and an eternity  in Heaven for yourself today!

Don’t Compare Yourself: Just BE Yourself

Don’t Compare Yourself:  Just BE Yourself

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.  (2 Cor 10:12)

The Bible has some pretty clear teachings that indicate that we should never compare ourselves to others, nor to be so foolish as to praise ourselves, either.  Comparison is a trick that the devil uses to steal our joy and to make us envious of others. 

Here are some helpful hints about the kinds of things that God wants us to do in order to live as God created us to:

  • Focus upon loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mk 12:30)
  • Lead a quiet life and mind our own business. (1 Thes 4:11-12)
  • Be proud of our own accomplishments, and assume responsibility for our own actions. (Gal 6:4-5)
  • Be transformed by renewing our mind. (Rom 12:2)
  • Humbly think of others as being better than ourselves. (Php 2:3)
  • Commit our way to the Lord and trust Him. (Ps 37:5)
  • Be content. (1 Tim 6:6-8)
  • Give thanks for everything. (1 Thes 5:18)
  • Imitate Christ. (1 Cor 11:1)

Remember, don’t compare yourself to anyone.  Just go ahead and be the best version of yourself ever!