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!

God’s Great Love for Us

God’s Great Love for Us

Something that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, may not meditate upon enough is His great love for us.  This article will help us focus on that today.

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the Lord who has compassion on you.  (Isa 54:10 NASB)  The Lord is saying that even when immovable objects (like hills and mountains) start shaking and even being removed, that His loving peace and kindness will NOT leave His children.  The Lord says that He has compassion upon us.  What a blessed promise!

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.  (Mt 18:20 NIV)  When believers in Jesus come together and meet as Christians, the Lord reminds us that He is right there among us.  His presence abides with us.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Heb 13:5 NKJV)  This is the Lord’s promise that He will never leave us nor abandon us—under any circumstances.  This is a promise that can be relied upon.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  (1 Cor 6:19 NKJV)  Here the Bible reminds us that all who have accepted Jesus as our Savior, have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit lives within the children of God.  We are children of God.

Rejoice in the precious promises that God has given to all who love Him.  Take some time to reflect upon God’s great, abiding love for you, and thank Him for it.  God bless you.

Esteem the Word

Esteem the Word

As followers of Jesus Christ, we should honor and respect God’s Word.  The Bible gives us guidance on this topic.

Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.  (Jer 15:16)

God’s Word should give us joy and cause us to rejoice in His goodness, His nature, and His salvation.

I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.  I have not departed from Your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me.  How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  (Ps 119:101-103)

In order to observe [obey] God’s Word, we endeavor to live holy, upright lives.  This is because we consider the Word of God to be sweeter and more satisfying to us than anything else in our lives.

The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver.  (Ps 119:72)

The Word displays to us a right attitude through the above passage in Psalms.  The psalmist said that God’s Word was more precious to him than thousands of gold and silver coins!  He was saying that money paled in comparison to the value of God’s precious Word to him. 

May each and every one of us agree with the psalmist in this matter.  Praise the Lord!

God Will Turn Us into a Blessing

God Will Turn Us into a Blessing

Let’s see where the Bible addresses this topic of turning believers into a blessing.

And it shall come to pass that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing.  Do not fear, let your hands be strong.  (Zec 8:13)

Though their present state was humble, God wanted Israel to trust in His promise of blessing.  He also wanted them to allow His promise to inspire them to diligently and robustly serve the Kingdom of God.  In the above passage, believers are instructed to have no fear and to be strong.  Notice that the Lord says that AFTER He saves His people, THEN we will be a blessing to other people. 

In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”  (Isa 19:24-25)

As we read above, the Word says that God’s people shall be a blessing in the heart of the earth.  The truth in this Scripture is based upon the fact that the Gospel of salvation was birthed in Israel through the birth of Jesus Christ; and through Israel and the gospel of salvation, all mankind would be blessed to learn of God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy.

‘Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.’  (Hag 2:19)

In Haggai, the Lord declares that His blessings shall be upon His people.  We may safely put our trust in God’s promise to bless us, though we see no observable indication of its realization.  For our God cannot lie (Tit 1:2), and His Word is unfailing—it is always fulfilled.  (Ezek 12:28; 1 Thes 5:24)

We’re called and designed by God to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in the earth, and in doing so, fulfill our destiny to be a blessing on this earth.  Glory to God!

Imparted Power

Imparted Power

Most of us who follow Jesus Christ don’t realize how much power the Lord has imparted to us, His people.  The word imparted means transferred, taught, or revealed. 

When we read the Bible, we need to think deeply about each and every passage that we read.  We should ask the Holy Spirit to guide us, teach us, and to give us revelations into the Scriptures.

Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ . . .  (2 Cor 2:10 ESV) 

We have authority to forgive others on behalf of the kingdom of God!  Think about the significance of this, and don’t take it lightly. 

If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.  (Joh 20:23 ESV) 

Jesus has given us the example, along with our Heavenly Father, of forgiving mankind of all sin through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.  It is our responsibility to follow His good example and His teachings.  Let’s advance the kingdom of God by being just like Him by extending merciful, and generous forgiveness to others.

And I tell you this—whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever you free on earth will be freed in heaven.  (Mt 18:18 TL B) 

We have power to bind on earth: 

  • to truss up or tie up;
  • to hinder or inhibit people, demons, or calamitous events; and
  • to deter or prevent situations—as God directs.  

We have authority to set free on earth:

  • to liberate (unshackle) people from bondage;
  • to emancipate human beings from every shame;
  • to release all those imprisoned by sickness, fear, pain, and the consequences of sin; and
  • to unshackle hurting ones from unhealthy situations and relationships.

The Lord Jesus has said clearly that He has given His followers power and authority.  This is an important truth upon which to meditate, and ask God to give us insight and wisdom into it.

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  (Lk 10:19) 

Later, in the book of Luke, Jesus talks again about our being given power from heaven.

I am sending to you what my Father promised, so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. (Lk 24:49 ISV) Recognize who you are and what you have been given.  Believers are children of the Kingdom, and we have been given the message of the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ.    It’s our job to bind or to set free the right things for the right reasons.  It’s time for us to listen to and obey the direction of the Holy Spirit.  Praise God!

God Stands By Us

God Stands By Us

Our amazing God stands by His people at all times, and in all circumstances. He actually fights for us.  The Bible confirms this truth.

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.  (Deu 3:22)

For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.  (Deu 20:4)

Through You we will push back our adversaries; through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us. (Ps 44:5)

One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.  (Josh 23:10)

God loves us and He defends us in order to give us the victory.  Jesus is our Overcomer.  (Joh 16:33b)  God has made each and every one of us overcomers because we are people of faith who serve a God who asks us to put our faith in Jesus Christ.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  (1 Joh 5:4-5, emphasis added)

God has promised that all who put their faith in Jesus Christ (which qualifies us as born-of-God) are overcomers.  Hallelujah!

God never stops fighting for us because He is almighty and eternal.  He is not limited by time; He is not limited by human constraints; and He never lacks for anything.  He calls us His chosen and special ones.  (Deu 7:6; 14:2)

His Word is His promise to us, and He is eternally faithful to His Word; He keeps His Word.  When our faith is weak, He is by our side, imparting His strength and grace to us.  All we need to do is to open our hearts to Him and allow His strength and empowerment to flow into us.

The Lord said that He will never leave us, never forsake us. (Neh 9:31; Heb 13:5b, italics added) 

If you’re in a battle of any kind whether faith, finances, relationships or health, put your trust and hope in Jesus Christ.  He is with you always—waiting for you to turn toward Him.  God bless you.

One Flock and One Shepherd

One Flock and One Shepherd

All who serve and follow the Lord Jesus Christ are one flock, and we obey one Good Shepherd’s voice!

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (Gal 3:28, emphasis added)

 . . . where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.  (Col 3:1, emphasis added)

And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.  (Joh 10:16, underlining added)

As we read and meditate upon these Bible passages, we can clearly understand that in God’s flock there is no room for prejudice, hatred, nationalism or sexism.  We are all one in Christ—united in, by and through Jesus Christ.  All believers follow Jesus Christ who is our example and our Good Shepherd.

Because we are all following one Savior and we are all listening to the only Good Shepherd’s voice, the Lord desires us to dwell in unity with one another.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  (Ps 133:1)

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.  (1 Cor 12:12)

. . . endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  (Eph 4:3)

. . . till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . . (Eph 4:13)

The Lord also desires us to be in harmony with each other as well as to comfort and to edify one another!  Let us be always obedient to the voice of the Lord.

Be of the same mind toward one another.  (Rom 12:16a)

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.  (1 Thes 5:11)

God bless you!

An Everlasting Throne

An Everlasting Throne

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has been promised an everlasting throne according to the Scriptures.  Let’s consider this truth today.

You, O Lord, remain forever; Your throne from generation to generation.  (Lam 5:19)

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.  (Ps 45:6)

But You, O Lord, shall endure forever, and the remembrance of Your name to all generations.  (Ps 102:12)

This truth from the Bible is information designed to strengthen and to sustain our faith, and give us confidence in the Lord.  Our Savior is the Prince of Peace and the King of Kings.  (Isa 9:6; 1 Tim 6:14-16) 

Here is some additional insight into the Lord’s everlasting throne:

When the angel was announcing to Mary the conception of the Messiah, these promises were reiterated. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end (Lk 1:31-33). These promises will be eternally fulfilled some day. “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'” (Rev 11:15).   Source:  https://www.blueletterbible.org/devotionals/dbdbg/view.cfm?Date=0630

One day ALL of the nations of the earth will worship and glorify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  (Ps 22:27; 72:11; 86:9; 102:15; Isa 2:2; 40:5; 45:23; 66:23; Jer 3:17; 33:9) 

As God’s own people and joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom 8:17), let us be faithful and obedient to acknowledge and praise our Sovereign God and King now!  May we be continuously aware that we serve the God whose reign will never end.  We will spend eternity with the Lord in sweet fellowship and harmony with Him.  Glory to God!

Filled with the Spirit

Filled with the Spirit

Today our topic is about being filled with the Spirit and speaking in other tongues (glossolalia).

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.  (Eph 5:18-19)

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  (Ac 2:4)

And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  (Ac 9:17)

The Bible encourages us to be filled with the Spirit and to praise the Lord and sing hymns and melodies to Him.  What an joy and an honor!

To be filled with anything indicates that all of a person’s faculties are pervaded by it, engaged in it, or under its influence.  We, as believers and followers of Jesus, are to allow the Holy Spirit to have such a mighty influence and impact upon us that He is able to pervade and engage literally every area and portion of our being.

When the Bible says that they spoke with “other tongues” it means that they spoke in languages that were not their own.  Acts 2:9-11 lists which languages were heard that day. 

To speak with other tongues – At the building of Babel the language of the people was confounded; and, in consequence of this, they became scattered over the face of the earth: at this foundation of the Christian Church, the gift of various languages was given to the apostles, that the scattered nations might be gathered; and united under one shepherd and superintendent (επισκοπος ) of all souls.  (Source:  Adam Clarke Commentary – https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/acts-2.html. 1832)

As the Spirit gave them utterance – The word αποφθεγγεσθαι seems to imply such utterance as proceeded from immediate inspiration, and included oracular communications.     (Source:  Adam Clarke Commentary – https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/acts-2.html. 1832)

There are believers who still speak in tongues today, and who usually operate in the fruit of the Spirit as well as in the gifts of the Spirit.  They typically believe that miracles still happen all over the world because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.  (Heb 13:8) Hallelujah!