BRIGHTEN SOMEONE’S DAY

BRIGHTEN SOMEONE’S DAY

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.  (Pro 12:25 NIV)

A cheerful heart is good medicine . . . (Pro 17:22a NIV)

We all experience days when we feel a little down or maybe worried or stressed out.  On days like those, we all appreciate a cheerful word or a phone call from a friend.  We all need encouragement, and we need other believers to come alongside of us occasionally to strengthen us.

We need a fellow believer to encourage our faith, to remind us of God’s goodness and glorious attributes, and to let us know that we are loved by God.  Only another person who follows Jesus, and has experienced life’s challenges and victories is able to help us in this way.  I encourage us all to cultivate friends who are fellow believers and who have been serving the Lord longer than we, ourselves, have.

Jesus taught us to love one another, and to be kind to one another.  He gave us His own example of how to live like this.

Offering hope, support, and cheer to one another is a wonderful and practical way to spread God’s love in this stress-laden world.  It’s important to encourage yourself first, in the Word of God. Another way to encourage yourself in the Lord is to remember all of the answered prayers you have experienced, and to remember all of the miracles that God has performed in the past in answer to your prayers. Rejoice! Thank and praise the Lord for these past testimonies and victories. Once you have done these things, you will have the strength to minister to others.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.  (Joh 16:33 NIV)

The Good News is still true.  The Lord is always reliable, and we can depend upon His Word and His matchless love.  He has overcome! 

So take a little time every day to share joy and cheer with everyone around you—with your family, friends, and co-workers.  Hallelujah!

Crucify the Earthly Nature

Crucify the Earthly Nature

Today’s topic is the earthly nature of man with its passions and desires.  The Bible urges us to put to death the deeds of the body.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  (Col 3:5 NIV)

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  (Rom 8:13)

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  (Gal 5:24)

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and temporary residents in the world, to abstain from the desires of the sinful flesh, which war against your soul.  (1 Pet 2:11 EHV)

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.  (1 Cor 6:18)

Why do you think the Scriptures urge us in so many passages of the Bible to:

  • Put to death the earthly nature;
  • Put to the death the deeds of the body;
  • Crucify the flesh;
  • Abstain from desires of the sinful flesh; and to
  • Flee sexual immortality?

1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Peter 2 state very clearly the reasons why we should obey the Bible:

  • Because the desires of the flesh war against our own souls; and
  • The one who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

When we allow the lusts of the flesh to govern our actions, then we sin against our very own bodies.  How?  Because our bodies have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.  (1 Cor 6:19-20)  This type of sin is an offense to our temple and the Holy Guest living within it.   

We belong to God, and our individual bodies belong to God.  We have chosen to follow Jesus of our own, free will; it hasn’t been forced upon us. 

The Lord has sealed each believer and given us the Holy Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.  (2 Cor 1:22)

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  (Eph 4:30)

We are urged by the Word of God to live a righteous and holy life by the empowering grace of God.  (See Rom 12:1; 1 Pet 1:15-16)  Since the Lord has given us His gift of grace, we are enabled to live obedient, holy lives.  He has given us victory through Jesus Christ.  (1 Cor 15:57)  Let us celebrate God’s goodness and mercy!

We are called, as followers of Jesus Christ and children of God to glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits.  God bless you!

Pay Attention to the Wisdom of God

Pay Attention to the Wisdom of God

Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge; 18 for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them all be fixed upon your lips . . .  (Pro 22:17-18)

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it.  34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.  (Pro 8:33-34)

My son, pay attention to my wisdom; lend your ear to my understanding, that you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge.  (Pro 5:1-2)

As we read these passages from the Bible shown above, we can clearly see one theme shining through which is that we need to pay attention to and obey the Wisdom of God. 

The Bible is filled with the wisdom of God from the beginning to the end.  As we fill our hearts and minds with God’s Word, we will learn about God’s nature and goodness as well as about His eternal wisdom.

As we choose to obey God’s will and to yield to His wisdom, we will experience God’s blessings and prosperity.   As we continue to yield to His Word throughout the course of our life, we will acquire a merciful and loving heart toward others, and a deep desire to bless other people.  This is truly the outworking of God’s life and Spirit within us.

Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24, 30), and in Him, this wisdom is available to us.  Glory to God!

The Lord, our Rock

The Lord, our Rock

The Lord Jesus, is our Rock and our salvation.  The Bible refers to the Rock, our Savior, in several passages.  Here are just a handful.

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!  (2 Sam 22:47)

The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.  (Ps 18:46)

Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—  (Ps 144:1)

. . . and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  (1 Cor 10:4)

 And “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.  (1 Pet 2:8)

When the Israelites were in the wilderness, the Lord gave them water from a rock to quench their thirst and to meet their needs.  (Neh 9:15; Isa 48:21)  The Lord proved Himself more than once to His people as their Provider and their Deliverer.

As the Bible passage shown above demonstrate, Christ is called the Rock, our Savior.

In this day and age, many are offended at the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is why He is also prophesied to be “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”  There are so many religions and ideologies being espoused around the world, that the true path to salvation can be obscured and undermined.  Present-day Christianity is under attack.

Jesus was considered a criminal and a blasphemer—so as His followers, we can’t expect much better treatment than what our Lord received.  His sentence, unjust though it clearly was, was death.  Pilate was so disturbed by it that he washed his hands of all responsibility for it. 

However, the Lord lives!  Hallelujah!  We drink in His glory, holiness, and goodness.  We are made righteous by the sacrifices that Jesus made on our behalf.  We are reconciled to our Father God, and have a multitude of reasons to exalt and to praise the Lord!

Remember that the Rock is our foundation for faith and for eternal life!

Benefits of Our Salvation

Benefits of Our Salvation

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  (Ps 23:6)

We determine that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever and that goodness and mercy shall follow us by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord.  With that one decision, we also decide to accept all of the benefits and blessings of our salvation—which are unlimited!

Of course, the Bible also informs us that there will be persecution for our faith for which we must be prepared.  (Mt 5:44; 10:23; Lk 21:12)  But we can and should expect both, especially God’s blessings.

The blessings of salvation are many, varied, and unlimited.  You truly need to study the Bible to locate all of the promised blessings, but I love to list at least some of them for people to meditate upon and to rejoice over!

  • God is our shield and surpassingly great reward (Gen 15:1)
  • The Lord is our healer (Ex 15:26)
  • His joy is our strength (Neh 8:10)
  • Jesus is our Open Heaven (Joh 1:51)
  • All of God’s promises to us are answered “Yes” and “So be it” through Jesus, our Lord (2 Cor. 1:20)
  • The Lord gives us a long life (Ps 91:16)
  • God gives us good things to eat and renews our youth (Ps 103:5)
  • God gives us an incorruptible inheritance (1 Pet 1:3-4)
  • God give us eternal life.  (Joh 3:15)

These are just a small handful of the benefits of trusting in God and accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.  Meditate on how much God loves you, and how very much He wants to bless you every single day of your life!  Hallelujah!

A New Thing

A New Thing

God is always working in the world.  He loves to do a “new thing”! 

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  (Isa 43:19)

Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.  (Isa 42:9)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  (2 Cor 5:17)

. . . to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.  (Heb 12:24)

God’s new thing will ALWAYS be better than anything that has gone before.  When His plans for one of His people changes, the reason is to improve the plan!

Our God is a God of love, mercy and truth.  He is patient and full of goodness.  God is eternal, self-sufficient, all-powerful and He never changes!  We must learn the nature of our God, and once we do, our faith in Him will be deepened and secure.

Since God knows everything, we can trust that His new thing will also serve the best interests of everyone concerned.   Get on board with God’s new thing!

God Provides for Us

God Provides for Us

The Word of God reminds us that God cares for all of His creation, including the birds of the air.  And it states that we are far more valuable to the Lord than His birds!  So, of course, He provides for our needs daily.

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  (Mt 6:26, see Lk 12:24)

By them the birds of the heavens have their home; they sing among the branches.  13 He waters the hills from His upper chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works.  (Ps 104:12-13)

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  (Phil 4:19)

Knowing that God is Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, should fill us with confidence and reassurance in a very deep and meaningful way.  Hopefully, it liberates us to focus upon God and His goodness.  It will spur us to praise and worship the Lord daily, and to work diligently for the Kingdom of God.

Jesus is the Lord, our Righteousness!  (Jer 23:6; 33:16)  Along with Christ, the Father God has given us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness.  (2 Pet 1:3)  So rejoice in your many blessings and spread this gracious, Good News to others.  

God’s Goodness

God’s Goodness

In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness.  (Hos 3:5b NLT)

To be in awe of something means to be afraid, tremble, or to be so alarmed—even to the point of shaking in fear. Everything God does is good, but His goodness can be overpowering, particularly when it is clearly unearned.

God’s goodness is on display every minute of every day, but clearly, in the last days God will be performing such amazing miracles that the vast majority of people will not be able to ignore it any longer.  The Lord will make sure that His acts will be center stage before the nations.

The Lord is called the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6), and peace provides the tranquil environment needed for healing of all illnesses—mental, physical, and relational.   Healing is only one of God’s many good gifts to mankind.

Consider these truths from the Word of God:

  • God’s goodness gives us hope (Ps 27:13)
  • God’s goodness prevails continually (Ps 52:1)
  • His goodness leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4)
  • We are told to consider (meditate upon) God’s goodness (Rom 11:22a)
  • God takes pleasure in His goodness (2 Thes 1:11)

The first usage of the word “good” in the Bible (Gen 1:3-4) establishes the fact that God is origin of everything that is good.  When God moves, speaks, or acts, something GOOD is always produced. 

The goodness of God contains no darkness or evil of any kind.  (Ps 5:4; 1 John 1:5 AMP) 

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)

It’s time to reflect upon and rejoice in the goodness of the living God, whom we serve.