What’s Your Decision?

What’s Your Decision?

Whom would you rather serve?  You would do well to read our last blog titled Two Paths.  It will shed light upon this article.

Every human being on earth must make a decision whether to serve Jesus, the Son of the Living God; or to serve satan, known as the accuser of the brethren.  (Rev 12:10)

What does the Bible say about Jesus?  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  (Joh 10:10b NKJV)

The Scriptures warn us to “make our election sure.”  The Lord tells us in His Word how each and every believer may confirm and safeguard his future in eternity:

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.  10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  (2 Pet 1:5-11 NKJV, emphasis added)

After we have accepted the Lord Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer, we do well to submit ourselves to the cleansing that comes to us through daily reading and meditation upon the Bible.  Read for yourself the truth of this statement:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  (Eph 5:25-27 NKJV, underscoring added)

Also, the Holy Spirit will teach us and lead us into all truth as we read the Word of God regularly.  (Joh 16:13) 

Trust the Lord to teach you and to guide you.  Allow Him to make changes in your life day by day, year by year, and decade by decade.  In so doing, you will bear fruit and make your calling and election sure!  God bless you.

God Knows Those Who Trust in Him

God Knows Those Who Trust in Him

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.  (Nah 1:7)

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.  (Joh 10:14)

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.  (Pro 18:10)

But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.  (1 Cor 8:3)

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”  (2 Tim 2:19)

Our God is full of power, wisdom and knowledge.  He knows when a person turns to Him with love, and when a person has put their trust in Him.  To such people, God is a fortress, a good shepherd, and a place of safety.

God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.  (Isa 64:4)  What a magnificent promise!

All who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have been given many promises in the Bible.  Here are just a handful of such treasures:

  • Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  (Deu 31:6)
  • The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.
    I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.
      (2 Sam 22:3-4)
  • “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”  (Joh 10:28-30)
  • The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  (Ps 23:1-5)

Let me reassure you that God knows your heart.  He knows that you love Him, trust Him, and turn to Him in times of need and trouble.  He will not fail you nor will He ever forsake you.  He will meet your needs and fulfill His promises to you.  What joyous facts to know! Hallelujah!

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!

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 Meekness of Wisdom

The Meekness of Wisdom

Wisdom is a gift from the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:8)  How can wisdom be characterized as meek?

Let’s understand meekness as it was understood in Bible times.  True meekness is power under control such as when a horse is trained to accept a saddle and to obey the will of its rider or owner. 

The training of the horse does not make the animal less strong.  The submission of the horse does not make it less strong.  Neither the training nor the act of submission makes the horse less than he was when he was running untamed.  It actually makes him more valuable and useful!  That’s something to think about for several seconds.

Jesus was described as meek, and yet He had supernatural power available to Him.  All He had to do was to speak to access His miraculous power, but He didn’t do it.  He humbled Himself to the will of His Father to complete His assignment to become our Redeemer.  He was as meek as a Lamb.

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.  (Rom 12:16 ESV)  Jesus did associate with the lowly and actually became lowly by becoming a man!

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?  There is more hope for a fool than for him.  (Pro 26:12 NKJV)  Spiritual wisdom is actually a connection with the heart of God.  There is no room for haughtiness or pride when we understand that any wisdom we have is given to us directly by the Lord.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  (Jas 3:13-17, emphases added)  The meekness referred to here is two-fold:  our submission to God’s will combined with our knowledge that the wisdom that is given to us is God’s own wisdom.

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.  (1 Cor 3:18)  Jesus seemed foolish to many of the people in Biblical times.  Some felt that He should have defended Himself.  Others wanted to fight and to start a battle.  But Jesus, obeying the wise plan of His Father, didn’t do those things.  He was in complete control of Himself out of love for His Father.

Notice that James 3:17 names the “wisdom that is from above,” meaning that it is from God, and the verse talks about what personifies this spiritual and supernatural kind of wisdom.  Jesus did personify heavenly wisdom by being pure, peaceable, gentle, yielding, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality or hypocrisy.  Jesus was meek as well as wise.

The Scriptures tell us that Jesus actually became for us “wisdom from God”!  Jesus embodies wisdom.  Jesus’ life in each one of us contains the wisdom of God.

 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—  (1 Cor 1:30)

Jesus is the perfect example of the Meekness of Wisdom.  Glory to God!

JOY

JOY

We don’t really think about joy very often, do we?  Even we believers don’t realize that joy is a consequence of our salvation! 

Joy can be recognized in various forms:  happiness, enjoyment, delight, wonderment, elation, or pleasure.

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  (Ps 16:11)  In God’s presence is the knowledge and the experience of joy genuinely felt.

The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!  (Ps 21:1)  When we consider the blessings and benefits of our salvation, joy should well up within us.  Our salvation makes us kings and priests before God!  (See Rev 1:6; 5:10)

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!  (Ps 32:11)  Our joy should be so powerful that it causes us to want to shout about it, on occasion.

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.  (Ps 43:4)  Our joy will certainly move us to praise and rejoice in the Lord.

Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.  My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.  (Ps 63:4-5)  All throughout our lives, as a result of our blessings and our acknowledgement of our salvation, we should savor the utter joy of life.

Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy.  (Ps 132:9)  We are the “saints” referred to in this verse, and we should cry out in utter astonishment and exultation about the goodness of our salvation.

Begin today to savor the joy of your salvation!

A Covenant-Keeping God

A Covenant-Keeping God

22. . . by so much more Jesus has become a surety [guarantee] of a better covenant. 24But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.  (Heb 7:22, 24-25)

In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete.  Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.  (Heb 8:13)

Grace and mercy characterize the NEW covenant, replacing the first or old covenant.  Under the new covenant, there will be full, widespread and direct knowledge of God according to Hebrews 8:11:   None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (Joh 17:3)  Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, we have received the gift of eternal life and of knowing God closely.

A covenant is a contract, promise, or pledge.  God cannot lie (Tit 1:2) and He fulfills His Word.  (Isa 55:11)

Here are a couple of examples of God fulfilling His Word on earth:

  • Adam and Eve were promised that a Savior would one day come and crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15).
  • This promised Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
  • Messiah would be anointed by the Holy Spirit to perform miracles (Isaiah 35:4-6, 61:1-3).
  • The Savior would be rejected by His own people and then wounded, bruised, and pierced as the sacrifice for our sins (Isaiah 53:1-12, Psalm 22:16).
  • He would rise from the dead and then ascend to the right hand of God in Heaven (Psalm 16:10, 68:18, 110:1).

According to Hebrews 7 (above), Jesus continues forever in an unchangeable priesthood.  God has promised that we shall ALL know Him, from the least of us to the greatest.  What an amazing and wonderful promise from a covenant keeping God!

Walk Circumspectly

Walk Circumspectly

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise . . . (Eph 5:15)

What does it mean to walk circumspectly?  Circumspectly means:  cautiously, warily, vigilantly, watchfully, guardedly, and with awareness. 

So about what should we be so cautious and wary?

  • Do not call upon other gods or let their names be heard on your lips. (Ex 23:13)
  • Be shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. (Mt 10:16)  Shrewd means wise.
  • Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. (1 Cor 14:20)
  • Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Phil 1:27)
  • Continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. (Col 1:9)
  • Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. (Col 4:5)
  • Walk worthy of your calling. (Eph 4:1)
  • Be a light in the world. (Mt 5:16)
  • Allow the love of God for you, and for mankind [collectively and individually] to guide your life.

It is by faith that we see spiritual realities (Heb 11:1); but if we’re too tied into earthly or material things, it can dim our spiritual vision. 

Allow your “spiritual spectacles” to stay firmly in place as you make every decision in your life, whether it’s a physical, financial, or relational matter with which you’re dealing.  Trust God to lead you and guide you, and to provide grace in every season, department, and sphere of your life. 

He has promised that He’ll never leave us.  (Heb 13:5)  He will never fail us!  (Ps 89:33; Zeph 3:5) 

Love never fails.  (1 Cor 13:8)

The Power of God

The Power of God

The Bible has quite a lot to say about the power of God.  Here are some selected verses.

. . . and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.  (Rom 1:4)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  (Rom 1:16)

. . . but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  (1 Cor 1:24)

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.  (1 Cor 2:4-5)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (1 Cor 1:18)

I’m sure that you’ve noticed the recurring theme in these verses that Jesus is called the power of God or the verse may state that power comes through His good news.  How did Jesus access His Father’s power?  He accessed it through the Holy Spirit, for our Lord said:

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  (Ac 1:8)  Jesus spoke this to His disciples, and told them that they would receive power through the Holy Spirit.

Further on in the New Testament, we read:

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.  (1 Thes 1:5)

Each believer receives power in the same way that Jesus did, through the Holy Spirit and His presence in us.  We must learn to cooperate with the Lord and the Holy Spirit through our knowledge of the Word and through our obedience to it.  As we obediently serve Him and allow Him to lead and guide us, we will move and operate in His mighty power.

Have Confidence in the Lord

It is vital for us to have confidence in the Lord.  I’m talking about having the kind of confidence in the Lord that Paul had when he wrote this verse:

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)

Paul could make this bold statement because he knew who he was in Christ.  He had confidence in the Word of God, and he had confidence in his relationship with Jesus, our Savior.  This is the same confidence that each and every one of us may have.  All we need to do is to nurture our confidence!

Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.  (Ac 28:30-31)

For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.  (Pro 3:26)

But “he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”  (2 Cor 10:17)  Another word for “glories” is boasts.  So this verse reminds us to boast in the Lord.  Paul knew how to do that.

We know that when signs, wonders, and miracles take place in our ministry, it is the Lord who performs those wonders!  We know that He alone is the Healer and Deliverer.  Paul knew that it was natural and normal to expect good things from the God who is good all the time.  This is the kind of confidence that we want to nurture in our hearts.

We nurture our confidence in the Lord by reading and meditating upon the Scriptures.  We do it with praise and worship of our God on a regular and ongoing basis.  As our relationship with the Lord stands the test of time, we mature and grow in our faith as well as in our confidence.

Trust the Lord and His Word.  Rely upon His Word and believe it when it says of itself:

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)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  (Mat 24:35)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (1 Cor 1:18)

Feed your confidence!