When Did We See You, Lord?

When Did We See You, Lord?

. . . for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’  37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’  (Mt 25:35-40)

Jesus is making a point in these teachings.  He wanted His followers to realize that mercies shown to His people are considered by God to be the same as if they were shown to Jesus, Himself. 

In the Lord’s view, by showing kindness to the poor, the sick, and the needy, we demonstrate that we possess the spirit of Christ.  Jesus also showed His kindness to the poor, sick, and needy.  He gave us a perfect example.

For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.  (Mk 9:41)

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.  (1 Joh 3:14)

But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?  (1 Joh 3:17)

We need to have eyes to see the world and all people in the same way that the Lord sees them.  The Lord sees a field that is rich and ready to be harvested. 

The Lord sees people in deep need of the salvation that He has already provided, and He wants us to introduce this Good News to the spheres of influence in which we individually reside.  As we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the needy, provide homes to the lost, and visit the sick and the prisoners, we’re doing it all as unto God, our Savior. 

As we serve and treasure other people, in the same way that Jesus did while He was on earth, our Father God lays up our heavenly rewards for 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!

The Righteous Give Generously

The Righteous Give Generously

Today, I’m sharing a large number of Bible verses that address the concept of giving; and in particular, how generously the righteous give and share with others.

The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously . . . (Ps 37:21 NIV)

The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.  (Deu 28:12 NKJV)

A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion.  (Ps 112:5)

But a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand.  (Isa 32:8)

Give to everyone who asks of you. and from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.  (Lk 6:30)

I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  (Ac 20:35)

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.  (Heb 13:16, emphasis added)

It’s occasionally very helpful for us to revisit themes of generosity and giving in order to re-center ourselves in the will of God.  The Lord whom we serve is a God of abundance, prosperity, and overflow.  He loves to bless us and to give us everything that we need and everything for which we ask.

God enjoys seeing us operate and flow in His brand of generosity!  He actually receives glory and honor when the righteous give generously in various ways.  Of course, we all know that one form of giving is financial, monetary giving. 

We can also give and share our blessings with others by:

  • Spending time with them, ministering to them with our presence;
  • Cleaning the home of a disabled person or a senior citizen;
  • Giving someone who needs it but can’t afford it an all-expense-paid vacation;
  • Making some payments on a needy person or family’s mortgage;
  • Paying for a new roof for someone with a leaky one;
  • Praying with and comforting those who are grieving;
  • Driving someone to a medical appointment; and
  • Faithfully praying for God’s provision for those in need.

A major component of giving is faith.  We need faith in God and in His Word in order to give with joy.  As we give, we trust God to bless us when and as we need Him to.  According to Acts 20:35, it is more blessed to GIVE than to receive.

We all can hear from and receive creative ideas from the Holy Spirit on how to give generously.  The Lord loves us to use our own creativity in this area as well, so within whatever means you have, seek God for how you can bless someone else.  Hallelujah!

Looking for Blessed Hope

Looking for Blessed Hope

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ . . . (Tit 2:11-13, emphasis added)

I think it’s too easy in this age of high pressure and constant stress overlaid by tense world events for us to lose sight of our HOPE.  We need to meditate more frequently and regularly upon the truth that we are expectantly waiting and watching for our blessed hope which will be evidenced by the glorious appearing of our Savior, Jesus Christ! 

Here is what the Bible has to say about it:

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.  (Mt 24:30-31) 

The righteous rejoice to even anticipate this event, so think of what the reality of it will be like!  In the meantime, we have many responsibilities to attend to—not only those of being responsible spouses, parents, children, or friends—but also the responsibilities that we have to Jesus, our Savior.  We have an active and eager enemy according to the Bible.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Pet 5:8) 

Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.  (1 Thes 5:6)

Do not be taken unawares.  Do not be drowsing or spiritually dull.  Keep yourself spiritually keen, effective and alert.  Read the Scriptures; praise and worship God regularly; fellowship with other believers, and be a witness of what Jesus has done for you.  This lifestyle will energize your faith and move you forward in realizing your purposes in the Kingdom.  God bless you.

The Abundance of Peace

The Abundance of Peace

In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more.  (Ps 72:7)

This Psalm is discussing (in a highly poetic style used by the author) the future reign of Christ.  It is saying that in that day, righteousness itself shall spring forth, thrive, and increase.  Glory to God!

The phrase abundance of peace means that ALL needs are met for as long as the moon remains.  Peace and prosperity are prominent characteristics of Christ’s reign.  Imagine what a different world it will be when each and every person in it is satisfied and have their every single need met!  It’s a beautiful hope.

In that day, anyone helpless or needy will be protected by the King, and oppressors who may want to ruin or injure the peace of others will be rendered powerless to harm anyone.  

And it’s all thanks to our Savior, King Jesus.  He is the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament prophetic scriptures about the Messiah.  Because that is true, Christians have been given these things already!  We are protected:

  • We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. (1 Joh 5:18, emphasis added)
  • For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”  (Lk 4:10-11)

All of our needs are met:

  • . . . as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue . . . (2 Pet 1:3)
  • If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (Joh 15:7)

Righteousness is flourishing:

  • But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. (Rom 3:21-22)
  • But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— (1 Cor 1:30)

Meditate upon God’s “abundance of peace,” and have a beautiful day! 

Surrounded by the FOG

Surrounded by the FOG

You are surrounded by the FOG!  “What’s that,” you ask?  It stands for Favor of God.

For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.  (Ps 5:12)

And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed.  (Ex 3:21) 

And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.  (Ex 12:36)

For You are the glory of their strength, and in Your favor our horn is exalted.  (Ps 89:17)

For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord . . .   (Pro 8:35 – Mercy is speaking to us in this verse.)

The verses I’ve shared with you (above) all talk about God’s favor upon His people, and upon the righteous.  We have been justified and made righteous in Jesus, so these blessings apply to believers.

In the book of Exodus, God so blessed (favored) the Israelites when they were preparing to leave Egypt that chapter 12, verse 36, says that the Israelites PLUNDERED the Egyptians! 

Do you know what a strong statement that is?  To plunder means to destroy; damage; loot; or overexploit someone or something. The Egyptians gave the Israelites whatever the Israelites asked of them—whether it was food, jewelry, clothing, tools, or livestock!

This is the very same kind of favor with which God has surrounded each and every Christian!  If you can meditate upon this, it will help you to understand how much God wants to bless us and to give us “the wealth of the sinner” (Pro 13:22).

You’ll notice in Psalms 89:17 (above) that it says “in Your favor our horn is exalted.”  What does that mean?

The horn denotes beauty, plenty, and power; these those have who are made accepted in the beloved. What greater preferment are men capable of in this world than to be God’s favorites? (Source:  Matthew Henry Commentary on Psalms 89)

When you’re applying for a job, making an offer on purchasing a home, or a thousand other things, remember that God’s favor is upon your undertaking.  So trust God’s Word and confidently await the outcome that has been influenced by God.  Hallelujah!

The Righteous

The Righteous

. . . and the desire of the righteous will be granted.  (Pro 10:24b)

. . . the righteous has an everlasting foundation.  (Pro 10:25b)

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.  (Pro 11:4)

Let us understand that when the Bible refers to the righteous it is talking about those who have been justified by Jesus Christ by accepting Him as their Savior.  Now I’m going to share some thoughts about each verse shown above, in order.

  1. How often does the Bible say that God will give us the desires of our hearts? It may be stated in different ways, but this theme is mentioned in Ps 37:4-5; Ro 4:21; Jer 1:12; Mt 6:33; 7:7-8; Lk 11:9-10 as well as the first verse shown above.  How often do you really believe and trust that the Lord wishes to give you the desires of your heart?  Yes, we do need to live obediently to Him and to seek His kingdom, and as we are doing that, we have been encouraged by these Scriptures to ask Him to give us what we desire.  So many people think only of monetary things, but what we desire may be the salvation of a loved one or the healing of a relationship or any of a number of other spiritually worthy things.  And if you do need physical healing or financial blessings, the Bible gives us many promises to encourage our faith in these areas, as well.  So, I encourage you to share your desires with the Lord.
  2. The foundation that the righteous have that is everlasting is Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone. (Mt 21:42; 1 Cor 3:11)  In Him, we are secure and anchored, so don’t let go of your foundation of faith.
  3. Humanly speaking, people appreciate having more than enough money because it solves so many challenges and problems in the natural realm. But even more important than wealth (according to the Bible) is righteousness, because righteousness liberates us from spiritual death, and from the fear of physical  death.
    1. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (Jo 14:6, emphasis added)
    2. And He said to me, “It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  (Rev 21:6, emphasis added)

Today we may rejoice in the blessings and the promises that God has given to us—His righteous, blessed children.