Guard Your Faith

Guard Your Faith

How would we guard a treasure?  Would we put it in a bank deposit box; a secret vault; or in a guarded safe?  Naturally, we would do all that we could to protect our valuable property.

What about protecting our spiritual treasure?  Are we just as diligent?  Do we value it properly as we should?  

What is our spiritual treasure?  It is our saving FAITH in Jesus Christ which gives us new life on earth and an eternity in heaven with the Lord—where we will receive a crown.  We’ll be in eternal blissfulness in the splendor of God’s presence.

So what does the Bible say to us?

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.  (1 Cor 16:13 NIV)

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  (1 Tim 6:12 ESV)

 I have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.  (2 Tim 4:7 CEB)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  (Eph 6:10 NIV)

In life hardship and heartaches come our way but, thanks to Jesus, we are never defeated, never without hope, and never alone because our lives are in the hands of God.  He is our defender and protector.

We’ve been given a treasure, but we need to guard it strongly.  The devil wants to destroy our saving faith.  He wants to make us doubt in our minds, to confuse our understanding, and to lead us off course to false treasures which have no value whatsoever. 

But we rely upon the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is eternal truth, and nothing will prevail against it.  As we memorize and meditate upon the Scriptures and remind ourselves of the wonderful gift of salvation that we have received, we will learn how to use our spiritual weapons referred to in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

Here are just some of spiritual our tools:

  • We must take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor 10:5) – this means that we must monitor our thoughts and reject those that contradict the Gospel.  We need to train our minds to remain centered upon Jesus.
  • Be sober-minded and watchful.  (1 Pet 5:8)
  • Submit ourselves to God and resist the devil.  (Jas 4:7)
  • Put on the armor of God in order to stand successfully against the schemes of the devil.  (Eph 6:10-12; Eph 6:14-18)
  • Authority to tread on serpents and scorpions.  (Lk 10:19)
  • Meditate upon excellent things that are worthy of praise.  (Phil 4:8)
  • The blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.  (Rev 12:11)
  • The Holy Spirit within us is greater than the devil.  (1 Joh 4:4)

With these impressive spiritual tools, we are more than able to guard our faith victoriously.  Hallelujah!

Pray for the Increase of Evangelism

Pray for the Increase of Evangelism

As believers and followers of Jesus, we’re called to pray for the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to spread over all of the earth. 

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you . . .  (2 Thes 3:1 NIV)  Pray for your Pastor and the missionaries that your church supports that God will bless and prosper their work.  Pray also for the family of your Pastor and the families of the missionaries that you support.

. . . for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.  (1 Cor 16:9 NIV)  Remember that there are spiritual opponents and challengers who stand against the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But the Bible reminds us that God has given us the victory.  It is part of our calling to pray for that victory to be manifested in every evangelistic outreach.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Cor 15:57 NKJV)

But the word of God increased and multiplied.  (Ac 12:24 NIV)  By the grace and mercy of God, our prayers can turn a situation around by faith in Jesus.

. . . therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  (Mt 9:38 NIV)  Ask the Lord in your prayers to send out more evangelists so that His good news of salvation may bring about the end-time harvest.

Of course, we should pray for our unsaved relatives and friends to be saved.  It’s a measure of our love for them that we desire to pray for their salvation.  Remember what the Bible tells us: If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (Joh 15:7 NIV)  Rejoice!

Rooted in Christ

Rooted in Christ

The Scriptures talk about our being rooted in Christ; rooted in love; and as branches grafted onto a tree which depends upon its roots.

. . . having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.  (Col 2:7 NASB, underscoring added)

We are firmly rooted in Christ by establishing a strong faith in and reliance upon Jesus Christ so that we won’t fall or be tossed around by the harsh circumstances of life.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  (1 Cor 15:58 NIV)

This passage (above) reminds us to stand firm (unshaken; immovable).  We should not allow ourselves to be tossed around by every wind of circumstance which may be bitter, severe, or critical.  Rather, we find our strength and hope in our faith in Jesus Christ.

. . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love . . .  (Eph 3:17 NKJV)

We are rooted and grounded in love because Jesus Christ is the son of God; and God is love.  (1 Joh 4:8)  Jesus is God’s love shown to us in human flesh.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.  (Rom 11:17-18 NASB)

The root or foundation of the church is Jesus Christ.  (Mt 21:42; Mk 12:10; Lk 20:17)  He is the root who supports the church and all of its individual members.  We rely upon Him for life and for everything that supports life!  We are blessed indeed!

We are Heirs of God through Christ

We are Heirs of God through Christ

Through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, we have been made heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.  (see Rom 8:17)  An “heir” is a person who inherits, or has a right of inheritance, to the property of another person following their death.

 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  (Rom 8:15 NKJV)

What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.  (1 Cor 2:12 NIV, emphasis added)

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God . . .  (Rom 8:16 ESV)

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.  (Gal 4:4-7 NKJV)

God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.  (Eph 1:5 NLT)

One of the rights that we were given as heirs is an inheritance of everything that belongs to God.  Everything in the entire universe belongs to God.  Both seen and unseen things belong to God!  It is all God’s property.

So, as incomprehensible as it may seem, when it comes to our inheritance as the children of God, everything that belongs to Jesus also belongs to us because we are joint heirs with Christ! 

“According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you . . . ”  (1 Pet 1:3-4 ESV) Our inheritance includes all of the blessings and promises found in the Bible and more.  We have been given an eternal inheritance that is shown above in 1 Peter 1 as “imperishable, undefiled, unfading and kept in heaven for us.” 

I think it’s safe to say that our eternal inheritance is so royal and so wonderful, that we can’t even get a true concept of the enormity and magnificence of it.  Have fun and receive inspiration from meditating upon this truth. God bless you!

Persist in Faith for Christ is our Hope

Persist in Faith for Christ is our Hope

Because we have a living Hope who is Jesus Christ, the righteous One, we need to persevere in our faith.  We should also pray diligently for answers to our needs.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  (Rom 12:12 NIV)

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.  (Ps 62:8 NKJV) 

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing . . .  (1 Thes 5:16-17 NKJV)

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Col 1:27 NIV)

Glory to God!  God is our refuge—our safe haven and our protector. 

The tomb couldn’t hold the living and victorious body of our Savior.  Jesus lived a holy and sinless life on earth. 

He appeared to many people several days after He had been crucified bearing the wounds of the cross.  When He did, Jesus demonstrated power and victory over death.  Jesus is ALIVE.  Glory to God! Jesus is our hope because He is alive; He is almighty; and He has reconciled us to God the Father.

Secrets

Secrets

Are you a person who enjoys having a secret?  Do you have secrets of your own to protect—that you do not want to be revealed?

Well, our Father in heaven has secrets that He will share only with His children.  God also knows every secret of every human being on earth; nothing is hidden from Him.

I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.  (Isa 45:3 NKJV, underscoring added)  There are hidden riches in undisclosed places which are known only to God, and He has promised to give these blessings to His own children.

He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.  (Dan 2:22 NKJV)  Only our God and Savior is able to reveal to us His deep and secret things in such a way that they will be useful, helpful, and fruitful to us.

When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you.  (Mt 6:6 CEV)  When this passage states that God knows what happens in private, it is saying that God sees and knows what is done secretly.

This proves that the conscience is like a law written in the human heart. And it will show whether we are forgiven or condemned, 16 when God appoints Jesus Christ to judge everyone’s secret thoughts, just as my message says.  (Rom 2:15-16 CEV)  God knows even our secret thoughts!  And He loves us no matter what they may be.

Praise God! He can make you strong by means of my good news, which is the message about Jesus Christ. For ages and ages this message was kept secret . . .  (Rom 16:25 CEV)  We are so blessed that the Good News of salvation is no longer a secret but has been revealed to all mankind.  Glory to God most High!

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!

Saved, Sanctified, Justified

Saved, Sanctified, Justified

We, who believe in Jesus Christ, have been saved through God’s mercy.  We have been cleansed, sanctified, and justified in and through Jesus, our Savior.

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.  (Tit 3:5 NIV)

The indwelling Holy Spirit is constantly cleansing us and renewing our minds. One tool that is helpful is the Word of God.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.  (1 Cor 6:11)

. . . that he might sanctify her [the Church], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word . . .  (Eph 5:26 ESV, words in brackets added)  Another way that we are continuously cleansed and sanctified is through a daily reading of the Scriptures as well as constant meditation upon them.  This is what we may choose to do in order to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, our teacher.

. . . knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.  (Gal 2:16)  This Bible verse reiterates the truth that no one is justified by fulfilling the law but rather through an ongoing faith in and relationship with Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind.  Praise God!

A Relationship With Jesus is Great Gain

A Relationship With Jesus is Great Gain

Once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we have begun an eternal relationship with the Lord.  Having a relationship with Jesus, our Savior, is the greatest blessing and gain (profit, benefit, advantage) anyone can ever have.  Hallelujah!

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  (1 Tim 6:6 NIV)  Living a holy life (godliness) with peace in our hearts (contentment) is a wonderful blessing.

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)  Jesus, our living Lord, will never leave us nor reject us.  The Word instructs us to be content with such a supernatural blessing as this, as well as all of the other blessings that Jesus has purchased for us.

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.  (1 Tim 4:8)  Godliness (righteousness, holiness) is necessary and beneficial for this life as well as for all eternity.

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble.  (Pro 15:16)  It is better to have a small amount in this life along with awe-inspired respect for our Lord, than to have what the world considers to be “great treasure” because such things are accompanied by anxieties and dangers, and temptations to turn away from our faith in our Savior.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Ps 84:11)  The Lord does not deny ANY GOOD THING to His followers, His obedient ones who live in holiness. The greatest wealth that anyone can ever have is a deep and abiding relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 

Every blessing, every benefit, and every advance is a gift that flows from His loving heart.  Thank God for His blessings today, friends!

Taught by God

Taught by God

As followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t forget that Jesus came, in obedience to His Father, in order to save people and to reconcile them back to our Heavenly Father.  God is constantly ready to forgive and to save all who believe in Jesus.

Today we’re concentrating on Scriptures that tell us that all of our children shall be taught by the Lord. 

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  (Isa 54:13)  We are drawn closer to the Lord by submitting to His teachings.  Our relationship grows deeper and stronger the more we read, meditate upon, and study the teachings of the Bible.

It is written in the Prophets, and they will all be taught by God.  Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from Him comes to Me.  (Joh 6:45 CEB)  All who receive the internal, spiritual illumination concerning Jesus Christ, the Savior, is drawn to God and to the teaching that comes from God through His Word, His Spirit, and His ministers.

The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.  (Joh 16:14-15 CEV)  The Holy Spirit is our helper and our teacher.  He gives us wisdom, insight, and illumination into the teachings of the Bible.

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another . . .  (1 Thes 4:9 ESV)  This is a confirmation by the Scriptures that those who belong to the Lord are taught by the Lord and are influenced daily by what they have learned.

All those who are taught by God (those who accept and act upon what they learn) will always turn to Jesus and receive Him as their Savior and Lord.  And once they have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, they will continue serving Him and obeying His leading and guiding through His Word and through the Holy Spirit.  We are not only the servants of God, but we are the children of God. All glory to God most High!