Treasures

Treasures

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Mt 6:19-21)

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.  (Pro 10:2)

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  (Ps 19:9-10)

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.  (Mt 13:44-46)

. . . that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  (Col 2:2-3)

We may think that wealth and riches profit us in this life.  In some ways, that is true.  However, we should remember that any so-called treasure that is a result of dishonesty or sinful pursuits will not bring us the joy that truly satisfies.  Such treasures will never profit us in eternity. 

But the righteousness that is born of faith in Jesus Christ will deliver us from many evils in this life as well as from eternal death in the next.

The Bible is packed full of precious promises (treasures) for the believer.  There are promises concerning health, healing, prosperity, the blessings of children, and the joy of relationships.  There are promises about every area of life; and all we need to do is to study them, meditate upon them, and to claim them for ourselves.  Here are several examples:

  • Children are a blessing from God.  (Ps 127:3-5)
  • Great wealth is in the house of the righteous . . . (Prov 15:6a)
  • Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  (Ps 103:5)
  • Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.  (Isa 48:17)
  • For I am the Lord who heals you.  (Ex 15:26)
  • . . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.  (1 Pet 2:24)

These are the true treasures of life and of eternity in Jesus Christ.

We Are Friends of God

We Are Friends of God

We are friends of God.  Does that blow your mind?  This truth fills me with joy.

And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.  (Jas 2:23)

Abraham’s faith in God qualified him to be called the friend of God.  All who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior are also friends of God, as the Scriptures teach us.

And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  (Lk 12:14)  Jesus warns us, His friends, to beware of those who can harm us spiritually rather than physically.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  (Pro 17:17)  Jesus is the Friend who loves each one of us at ALL times!  And in adversity or trouble, He will fight for us.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  (Joh 15:13)  Our Friend, Jesus, has laid down His life for each and every one of us.  Glory to God!

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  (Joh 15:14)  When we obey Jesus and His teachings, we may rest assured that we are indeed His friend.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.  (Joh 15:15)  Jesus has taught us everything that He heard from His Father God; and in doing so, has made us His friends. Rejoice in the knowledge that each of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord has become a friend of the Most High God–the Living God!

The Way Everlasting

The Way Everlasting

Here are two different versions of the same Bible verse:

And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  (Ps 139:24 NKJV)

Don’t let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true.  (Ps 139:24 CEV)

As we can see from the second version of Psalm 139:24, the way everlasting is the way that time has proven reliable or trustworthy.  We can choose to live according to the world’s way, or we can choose God’s everlasting way.  Only one of these ways is true.  Only one of these ways will lead you to eternal happiness.

The way everlasting asks us to submit our will to Christ, our Savior and to adopt His values and goals. It will transform our character progressively to be more Christlike.  His way will lead us to bear good fruit to God (Jas 3:17), and permit us to transfer that fruit with us into eternity.

It’s vital for us to remember that the life that we lead here on earth, in all regards, is not for this earthly, measured time but for eternity.  Our earthly lives are a spiritual test for:

  • The quality of our characters,
  • The motives for our work, and
  • The motives of our hearts.

Each and every one of us need to make corrections and adjustments to our attitudes and our lives.  We all need to be led by the Lord and His righteousness, and every one of us needs to allow God to teach us and to show us the path for our feet. 

Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face.  (Ps 5:8 NKJV)

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good.  Lead me in the land of uprightness.  (Ps 143:10 NKJV)

Since we who follow Jesus Christ have made the choice to live in the way everlasting, let us consider seriously what corrections and improvements that the Lord may be urging us to make today.  Glory to God!

Righteousness & Praise Spring Forth

Righteousness & Praise Spring Forth

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ purchased (paid for) our salvation—thus our righteousness.  And how can we, who have received such a precious gift, prevent ourselves from crying out in praise and thanksgiving to our God and King?

The Scriptures remind us that God will cause both righteousness and praise to SPRING FORTH before all nations!  Since Jesus’ death and resurrection, our earth has seen the continuous unfolding and fulfilling of this promise of God.  Glory to God most High!

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  11 For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.  (Isa 61:10-11, underscoring added)

What does “spring forth” mean?  It means:  to leap out; to rush out; to arise suddenly; to come about hastily with speed and powerful force.   This passage of Scripture tells us that one day righteousness and praise will rise up, suddenly, in all nations and all peoples in such a way that it will be a witness to all the world.

And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long.  (Ps 35:28)

Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, And I will praise the Lord.  (Ps 118:19)

. . . being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.  (Phil 1:11)

I trust God that this article will remind us and inspire us to lift our voices to the Lord in praise and thanksgiving today—and every day of our lives!

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works . . . (Heb 10:24)

Those of us who have believed in Jesus as our Savior and Lord are designed to continue in faith in good works!   This is a good work–to praise and worship the Lord.  Let us worship and magnify the Lord!

The Seed of Abraham

The Seed of Abraham

 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.   (Heb 2:14-18, emphasis added) 

Jesus is referred to as the singular “seed of Abraham” in the passage below; and it was to Him (Jesus) that the inheritance of Abraham was promised.

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.  (Gal 3:16)

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  (Gal 3:29)

Even as Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6), even so all of us today who believe in Jesus as our Savior—apart from the Law—are justified.  Therefore, Abraham is the “father” of all who believe.  (Rom 4:11-17)  See Galatians 3:29 above once more.

Naturally, the “seed of Abraham” also refers to the Hebrew people who descended from Abraham through Isaac. Even more generally, the seed of Abraham could include Arabs, who trace their lineage through Ishmael. This is the physical seed of Abraham. The spiritual seed of Abraham (believers in Jesus Christ) is comprised of people of all nationalities and ethnicities but who have the same Redeemer & Lord. 

Being the spiritual seed of Abraham is much more important than being a physical descendant of Abraham when one is considering eternal truths.  Jesus reminds us that we must be born again.  (Joh 3:3)  Those of us who are born again, are Abraham’s seed, and we are guaranteed a lavish inheritance in Him! 

. . . giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.  (Col 1:12 – see also Col 3:24, Heb 9:15, 1 Pet 1:3-4)

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!

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.

The 7 Redemptive Names of God

The 7 Redemptive Names of God

Here are the seven redemptive names of the Lord, their meanings, and where they can be found in the Bible.

  • Jehovah-Rapha, The Lord our Healer – (Ex 15:26; Isa 1:5-6; Jer 17:9; Lk 5:31)
  • Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord our Banner [or Refuge] – (Ex 17:8-15; Ps 20:5)
  • Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord (who) is Present – (Ezek 48:35; Ex 33:14-15; 1 Chr 16:27; Ps 16:11; 97:5)
  • Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness – (Jer 23:5-6; Ps 11:7; 89:14; 1 Cor 1:30)
  • Jehovah-Shalom, the Lord our Peace – (Judges 6:24; Isa 9:6; Lk 1:78-79)
  • Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord our Provider – (Gen 22:8-14; Joh 1:29; Gal 3:8; 1 Cor 2:7)
  • Jehovah-Ra’ah, the Lord our Shepherd – (Gen 48:15; Ps 23:1; 80:1; Isa 40:10-11; 1 Pet 2:25)

As our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ operates with mighty power in each and every one of these offices of salvation and redemption.  He is the Lord who never leaves us and never fails us.  Hallelujah!

The Treasure of Our Tongue

The Treasure of Our Tongue

There is a fairly well-known book titled The Treasure of Our Tongue authored by Lincoln Barnett, published in 1962.  This is the story of the English language from its obscure beginnings to its present eminence as the most widely spoken language, and it’s a very interesting book.

We, as believers, have another—even better—Treasure of Our Tongue

For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food.  (Job 34:3, emphasis added)

My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long.  (Ps 35:28)

The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.  (Ps 37:30)

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  (Ps 34:1)

He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.  (Ps 40:3)

Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.  (Ps 54:2)

I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue.  (Ps 66:17)

My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.  (Ps 71:15)

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.  (Pro 21:23)

The treasure of our tongue, from these verses in the Bible, is our ability to praise God daily, and to speak of His righteousness not only to other people, but to ourselves!  Test the words of your mouth and determine if they edify others or put them in a negative frame of mind.  Proverbs 21:23 reminds us that when we guard our words, we keep ourselves out of trouble!

We have been given a new song, a song of praise, since our rebirth into God’s family.  The author of Psalm 54:2 invites the Lord to pay attention to the words that he speaks!  You must be very sure of yourself before you invite the Lord to pay attention to your words. You words would be full of praise and would speak forth the wisdom of God.

Psalm 71:15 states that the psalmist does not know the limits of God’s righteousness or His salvation.  What a positive, faith-filled declaration!  Let us join with the psalmist in lifting our voices in praise to God, and in glorifying His righteousness and his salvation.  This is an honor and a treasure that we believers have been given, so let us exercise it.  

Declare God’s Mighty Acts

Declare God’s Mighty Acts

One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.  I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.  Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness.  They shall utter [bubble forth] the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.  (Ps 145:4-7 NKJV)

I believe that this passage of the Bible reminds us to remember and to broadcast (declare) our exciting testimonies of what God has done for each and every one of us!  These blessings are also praiseworthy, so we should praise Him for them, and I don’t mean just once or twice.  Every remembrance of them should bring fresh praise and thanksgiving to our hearts and lips.  Meditate upon and declare the miracles that God has done for you.

We should share our testimonies with our children and our grandchildren—generation to generation. As Psalm 63:1-5 demonstrates, as we express our praises to God, we feel a spiritual gratification as if having dined on the richest of spiritual meals.  When pondering the good, merciful, miraculous, supernatural, and kind works of the Lord, it is a feast!