Beautiful Feet

Beautiful Feet

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:  “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”  (Rom 10:14-15)

Another version of the final line in the above Bible verse is:  “Beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!” 

We’re not talking about just any old type of good news, but specifically about the Good News of Jesus Christ.  This is the good news that tells how Jesus purchased salvation for all who accept Him as their Savior and Lord!  Hallelujah!

This is the “almost too good to be true” kind of news that no one readily believes in this cynical, unbelieving world. 

This very genuine good news MUST be passed on and accepted before its power can take effect.  When we each accepted Jesus as our own Lord and Savior, one of the main assignments we were given was to share our testimony of God’s love and forgiveness.  Consider this passage:

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 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 5:18-19, emphasis added)

Jesus fulfilled His mission of reconciling mankind to His Father, and has committed the same ministry to us.  We are called to the Ministry of Reconciliation through Jesus Christ.  However, we don’t need to die as Jesus did but to simply tell our own testimony to everyone who will listen to our story.  As the Scriptures say, “Freely you have received, freely give.”  (Mt 10:8)

While we are still able, while a measure of freedom of speech remains, we must endeavor to fulfill this honored calling and mission entrusted to every believer by Jesus..

Christ is in Heaven on our Behalf

Christ is in Heaven on our Behalf

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.  (Heb 9:24 ESV, underscoring added)

It is helpful to ponder the truth that Christ is in Heaven right now, representing and upholding all believers.  He is our Advocate!  (1 Joh 2)

. . .  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church . . . (Eph 1:20-22 ESV) Jesus Christ is the head of the church.  He is the Lamb of God who has poured out His blood on the mercy seat–for us. (Joh 1:36; 1 Pet 1:19; Rev 7:14; 22:1)

So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.   (Mk 16:19 NKJV)  Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God.

He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.  (Isa 59:16)  Jesus is our intercessor in heaven.  He is our agent in heavenly realms.

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus . . . (1 Tim 2:5) Jesus is both God and man.  He is the only mediator between God and men.  A mediator is a peacemaker, and Jesus has brought about peace between God the Father and all who are born-again.

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  (1 Joh 2:1)  Jesus Christ, the righteous One of God, is our Advocate with the Father.  In Heaven Jesus pleads our case, and works to effect reconciliation between us and Father God.  He also, as our Savior and Redeemer, affirms that He has purchased all of salvation’s blessings for us, and thanks to Him, we are entitled to them.

Jesus is your champion and crusader!  Stand and give thanks and praise to the Lord today, brothers and sisters!

Preparation for Glory

Preparation for Glory

One of the purposes of our lives here on earth, aside from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is to prepare us believers for future glory.  At times, our preparation will seem very difficult to bear up under.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. . . (2 Cor 4:17)

The apostle and his fellow sufferers compared their current light suffering with the reward that, by faith, they knew awaited them in heaven.  They considered the heavenly crown awaiting them to be far more significant than their current afflictions. 

 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  (Rom 8:18)

According to the verse above, our earthly problems will seem mild and temporary when we view them from the safe haven of eternity with Jesus.  At times, it will help us to endure when we focus upon unseen realities that exist in the spiritual realm.

. . . knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  (Jas 1:3-4)

When our faith is put to the test, the Word reminds us to patiently endure—or to cling to the truth of God’s Word.  Remaining steadfast in faith through a time of suffering will result in our faith becoming more mature, deep and strong.  When we live in this way, we are following Christ’s example.

. . . though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.  (Heb 5:8) 

This verse is referring to Jesus Christ, our Savior.  This passage reminds us that our Savior learned, through suffering, all about the unique obedience needed to qualify Him as our High Priest.  (See Commentary on Hebrews 5 by A. R. Fausset, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown)

The point of this article is to meditate upon the fact that Jesus—the Savior of mankind—endured great suffering for our sake.  He didn’t grumble about it but focused upon His love for His Father and the end result of His obedience which was the reconciliation of mankind to God the Father.  At the cross, Jesus could say, “It is finished.”

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials . . . (Jas 1:2)

Eternal Salvation

Eternal Salvation

And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him . . . (Heb 5:9)

Jesus Christ has purchased our eternal salvation, and there is ample testimony to this truth in the Scriptures.

This one who is life from God has been shown to us, and we guarantee that we have seen him; I am speaking of Christ, who is eternal Life. He was with the Father and then was shown to us.  (1 Joh 1:2 TLB)

Jesus has been shown to the whole world as our Redeemer and Savior.  He said about Himself that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  (Joh 14:6)  Faith in Him is the way to reconciliation and peace with God, our Father.

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.  (1 Cor 6:20)

The price given for our salvation was Jesus’ life, suffering, death, and resurrection.  Jesus paid that price, and for this we give glory to God!  We are literally called to glorify God through our lives and how we spend our lives in His service.

. . . who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.  (Tit 2:14)

The Lord desires for us to be fervent and intense about performing good works.  What exactly are “good works” according to the Scriptures?  Good works are such things as:  feeding the poor; visiting prisoners; helping the homeless; preaching the Gospel; ministering to widows and orphans; etc.  With so many families fractured by living in different states and by relational hurts, these things are very necessary in these days.

. . . knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.   (1 Pet 1:18-19)

Honor the Lord by realizing the importance and value of the gift of salvation that Jesus paid for with His own, precious blood.

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world . . .  (Mt 25:34)

It’s Never Too Late for Peace, Part 1

It’s Never Too Late for Peace, Part 1

When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.  (Pro 16:7)

And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.  (Rom 5:11)

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 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 5:18, 19, emphases added)

The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.  (Pro 19:11)

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.  (Rom 14:19)

It’s never too late to make peace with estranged friends, family members and loved ones.  Reconciliation is the very crux of Jesus’ work for the Kingdom of God.

Whenever something has happened to cause a breakdown in a relationship, it’s best to pray about it and literally bathe the event in prayer (after it has happened).  Ask God to give you supernatural wisdom, insight, and understanding in the matter. 

If you’re the offender, respectfully approach the person whom you’ve hurt, and indicate that you would like to make peace.  This might involve you sending a “thinking of you” card in the mail (or a text message or an email, etc.) saying that you’d like to make things right between you.  Share your sincere apology for the offense (briefly say what it was), and that you would like to resume a relationship.  Indicate how important the other person is to you.

Now, whatever the response is—you’ve done your part.  Your mind and conscience can be at peace, even if the offended person doesn’t reply.  Or they may say that they forgive you, but they don’t want to resume the relationship.  Again, that’s their prerogative, and you’ll know that you did the responsible and godly thing.  At least you have participated in establishing peace between you and the other person.  (Rom 12:18)

Our next article will cover Part 2 of this subject.

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!

Ministering Reconciliation

Ministering Reconciliation

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 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 5:18-19)

This passage of the Bible informs us that God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation, which is a continuation of the ministry of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  The ministry of reconciliation is the message of the Gospel.

. . . and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.  21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.  (Col 1:20-23)

Jesus told us in John 14:6 that no one can be reconciled to God without Him.  Salvation is through Jesus Christ. 

Once we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were then drafted into service to the Kingdom of God; and we became servants of Christ.  (1 Cor 4:1; Col 1:7)  As Christ’s servants, our charge is to share this good news with everyone whom we meet! 

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.  (Mat 28:18-20)

Considering all that Jesus has done and continues to do for each one of us, we are honored to willingly give Him our lives in order to serve Him.  When we share His Good News, we’re ministering reconciliation!

Forget the Past & Advance (Part 2)

Forget the Past & Advance (Part 2)

This is a continuation from the previous post: in order to move forward in life, we need to let go of the past.

We discussed forgiving others and forgiving ourselves, which are key components to making forward progress.  However, there are circumstances that may work against this happening.  The enemy of our souls does not want us to advance.  People that we have hurt in the past may have a difficult time forgiving and forgetting.

Sometimes, after we’ve forgotten the past and have begun to make forward movement, we realize that someone we have hurt in the past (that “forgotten” past) will not forgive or forget!  They not only won’t forgive and forget, they have decided not to be in relationship with us.  If this is a casual friend or a business acquaintance, we can usually manage to accept their decision. 

But what if that person is a close friend—or even more painful—a relative whom we love very much?  The devil delights in stirring up more trouble and strife by reminding people about the hurts that they have experienced in life.  He can be so successful, at times, that he influences a person to break off a relationship with a person whom they love and who loves them—all due to past history in the relationship. 

Let me first state that if there is any small chance of a repeat of the injury, then the previously injured person would be justified in ending that relationship.  But when one party is genuinely sorry for what has occurred in the past, and is prepared to resume the relationship with due caution and consideration for the feelings of the other one, then I believe that there is true hope for a good outcome.  In a situation like this, what do you do when your loved one has determined that your relationship is over?  What do you do when they will not see you or speak with you?

The first step is to recognize that they have the right to make such a choice.  Yes, it hurts tremendously.  But realize that they are merely protecting their spiritual, mental, and emotional health.  That’s good and healthy.

Next, pray for the entire situation and for everyone involved in it.  If it’s a family member or a church member, other people are also adversely affected by it.  Don’t try to enlist people onto “your side.”  That’s extremely destructive and counterproductive.

Instead, cry out to the Lord in prayer.  Pray for the person whom you injured—whether intentionally or unintentionally injured.  Ask God to bless that person and to heal their hearts, minds, and memories.  Ask Jesus to give that person the grace and the desire to forgive you.  Pray consistently and persistently for that person, and allow the Lord to cause your love for them to grow and to mature.  Be patient. Bathe the entire situation in prayer.  Be patient.

The Lord is our Mediator.1 He is our Peacemaker2; and our Reconciler3.   The Bible reminds us that the Lord has given to us the ministry of reconciliation.4 It makes sense, then, that He would want us to be reconciled to one another.

Since the Lord wants us to be at peace with all men, we are instructed to LIVE PEACEABLY with all!5 This means that we should not speak evil about anyone, and we should be gentle and humble in dealing with others in any capacity.6  

Put your faith in God and in His Word; be patient and trust God to bring about reconciliation in His timing and in His way.  He says that the ones who trust in Him will not be ashamed or humiliated.7 Place all of your focus and all of your efforts into loving God and serving Him.

Rejoice in the love that Jesus has for you, and that your name is written in glory!  Let God take care of the rest.

_______________________________

  1. 1 Timothy 2:5
  2. Romans 5:1
  3. Romans 5:10
  4. 2 Corinthians 5:18
  5. Romans 12:18
  6. Titus 3:2
  7. Psalms 22:5; 34:5; 119:6; 2 Timothy 1:12

We Serve the Prince of PEACE

We Serve the Prince of PEACE

Greetings and felicitations.  What type of an atmosphere do you carry with you? 

Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  (James 3:18)  The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace.  We must always sow [any kind of seed] in an atmosphere of harmony, reconciliation, and goodwill.

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  (Heb 12:11)  Chastening is linked to the fruit of righteousness!  Isn’t that a surprise?  Chastening is correction, and correction yields fruit when we have allowed ourselves to be trained (or changed) by it.  We receive a deep sense of peace as well as divine fruit when we submit to the Lord’s loving correction.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we carry peace within us at all times; and we should sow words of peace, as well.  This is fitting because Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  (Isa. 9:6)

The Spirit of wisdom would suggest that we yield to a human opponent or antagonist, because in James 3:17, the Word says heavenly wisdom is pure and peaceable!  

We must allow our actions to be guided by the Holy Spirit who lives within each one of us   The Lord has given us the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22)  Peace is a fruit of the spirit, and since we have peace within each one of us, we must:

  1. sow (spread, plant, scatter) peace and
  2. make (create, formulate, generate, produce) peace.


Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
  (2 Cor. 5:18)  To reconcile means to reunite people to each other or to resolve disagreements among people.  As believers, we should be dedicated to peacemaking and reconciliation, as well as forgiving those who have injured or offended us.

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.  (Romans 12:18)  Carry an atmosphere of peace, sow peace, and allow peace to reign in your hearts at all times, because we are empowered by the Prince of Peace. 

God bless you!

Rx for Marriage

Rx for Marriage

Welcome to our study on marriage relationships and how they can be improved by knowledge of the Scriptures and obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

A good portion of spiritual wisdom is contained in my post entitled:  Live Peaceably With All.  When we think of living peaceably with people, we may exclude our family members from consideration—especially our spouse!

Our goal should be to live peaceably with our spouse whether he/she is a Christian or not!  The Bible gives us many verses to meditate upon concerning peace.  Here are only a few:  Psalm 4:8; 29:11; 34:14; 37:17; 85:8; 85:10; John 14:27; 16:33; Romans 1:7.  

Our Savior is called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6; Judges 6:24), and He lives within each one of us.  We can learn to tap into His wellspring of peace, by training our ears to listen to the advice of the Holy Spirit.  We may also meditate on Bible passages concerning peace, and ask the Holy Spirit to show us how to moderate our behavior so that we may live obediently to God’s Word, and peaceably with all men.

The Holy Spirit will lead us into ALL truth (John 16:13; Eph 4:15), including: (1)  the truth for a husband on how to love his wife and to learn what makes her happy, and (2) the truth for a wife on how to honor and respect her husband!  Here are the Bible verses for you to study:  Men:  Eph 5:25; Col 3:19; 1 Pet 3:7 – and – Women: Eph 5:22; Col 3:18; 1 Pet. 3:1, 5.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  (Romans 12:21 NKJV)  If you feel that your spouse has done something hurtful or said something painful to you, overcome that with good.  Repay them with love, kindness, and forgiveness knowing that God will take pleasure in your obedience to Him.  He will reward you.

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.  (Rom 14:19 NKJV)  We’re encouraged to pursue the things which contribute to peace. 

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation . . . (2 Cor 5:18) Jesus was the chief Reconciler. (2 Cor 5:19)  The Lord has given to us the ministry of reconciliation.  The Lord desires that we lay aside our own hostility; antagonism; and ill will against another person just as He forgave each and every one of us of ALL of our sin!  Forgive your spouse, and move ahead.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  (Gal. 6:2)  When spouses show their love by bearing one another’s burdens, that loving affection will become a very powerful glue that holds the relationship together and deepens it.

I pray that these thoughts will assist you and your spouse to draw closer, and to grow in love and respect.  Be blessed!