We Shall NOT Lack

<strong>We Shall NOT Lack</strong>

The Scriptures tell us that we shall not be in need nor have a shortage of daily provisions.  In fact, the Bible says that we who seek the Lord won’t lack ANY GOOD thing.  Wow!  What a precious and powerful promise that is.

The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  (Ps 34:10 NKJV, emphasis added)

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give favor and glory, for no good thing will He withhold from the one who walks uprightly.  (Ps 84:11 MEV, emphasis added)

The verse above goes on to say that NO GOOD THING will the Lord deny from those who walk uprightly.  Hallelujah!  This applies to believers because we are justified through Jesus Christ, our Savior.  Jesus is our righteousness. (Jer 23:6)  Also, spending time reading and meditating upon God’s Word cleanses each one of us daily.  This means that we may claim this verse for ourselves.

. . . for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  (2 Pet 1:3 NASB)

This passage in second Peter, above, is very clear that the Lord has already given to us everything that we would ever need for a righteous and holy life through our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  (Rom 8:32 NIV)

This is a resounding declaration by the Holy Spirit that every believer who has accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord has been FREELY given ALL THINGS.  This is a mighty promise from God the Father to every believer.  Believe it and stand upon it. 

Rejoice in God’s promises and blessing to you, and worship Him with thanksgiving.  You are blessed.

Being Strengthened & Established

<strong>Being Strengthened & Established</strong>

As we live our daily lives as believers and followers of Jesus, there should come times when we are strengthened and established, or recognized, in our faith.  Let’s take a look at some Scriptures concerning this topic:

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.  (Rom 1:11-12 NKJV)

Paul was writing to believers in Rome, saying that he wished to see them in order that he could impart [pass on] a spiritual gift to a number of them, and that he could encourage them in their faith—and be encouraged himself by them. 

First of all, do you realize that praying for each other is encouraging? 

And do you also realize that by praying for one another, we may reveal our own spiritual gifts and may even pass them on?  Well, it’s absolutely true! 

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 NKJV)

Paul was confident that when he saw the believers in person, that he would be operating in the FULLNESS of the blessing of Christ’s gospel.  What faith!  This demonstrates the confidence of a man who relies completely upon the Word, and lives his life accordingly.  Glory to God!

So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.  (Ac 16:5 NIV)

When we are strengthened in our faith, we can’t help but share our experiences and testimonies with others.  When we do that, other people visit our churches in order to discover what is happening.  Their curiosity is provoked, and they want to investigate for themselves.

When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.  (Ac 19:6 NIV)

Praying for people, as you touch them, is a biblical and correct form of prayer.  This verse tells us that when Paul did this, the people that Paul touched came under the influence and presence of the Holy Spirit.  As a result these same people actually spoke in tongues and prophesied.  Hallelujah!  These are biblical results and we should be encouraged by them, and use them as our example.

A key tactic we can use to strengthen our faith is to read the Bible, and to the meditate upon it daily.  God bless you.

The Lord is Faithful & Upright

<strong>The Lord is Faithful & Upright</strong>

The Bible tells us in many different verses that God is not only faithful, but that He is upright.  What do these terms means to us?

Faithful means the fact or quality of being true to one’s word or commitments, as to what one has pledged to do, professes to believe, etc.  Titus 1:2 reminds us that God cannot lie!  This tells us that we may trust whatever He says.

Upright means morally erect; honest; just; conforming to high, moral standards. 

Now let’s look at these Scriptures:

For the word of the Lord is upright; and all his works are done in faithfulness.  He loves righteousness and justice; the world is filled with the gracious love of the Lord.  (Ps 33:4-5 ISV) 

According to this passage, God’s Word is upright, honest, and just.  All of God’s works are done in faithfulness, according to what He has promised.  Glory to God!

Our Lord, you are true to your promises, and your word is like silver heated seven times in a fiery furnace.  (Ps 12:6 CEV)

This Bible verse reminds us that God’s promises are true (genuine, valid, sincere), and that they have been tried and tested—just like fine silver.

The Lord is your mighty defender, perfect and just in all his ways; your God is faithful and true; he does what is right and fair.  (Deu 32:4 GNT)

How reassuring to read this Bible passage above!  God is declared to be our mighty Defender who is perfect and just (good, fair, honest, honorable) in all of His ways. 

For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will see His face.  (Ps 11:7 NASB)

According to the Scripture shown above, all who are upright (honest, respectable, righteous) will see God’s face.  Hallelujah!

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy steadfast love; teach me thy statutes!  (Ps 119:64 RSV)

Lastly, we see the Lord’s love described as steadfast which is just another word for faithful, reliable and trustworthy.

As you can see, based upon what we have just studied, God is indeed faithful and upright!  He is worthy to be praised!

The Tough Decision to Follow Jesus

<strong>The Tough Decision to Follow Jesus</strong>

The Scriptures remind us that when we make the decision to follow Jesus, we should “count the cost.”  (Lk 14:27-29)  In other words, Jesus wants us to know what it means to fully follow Him.  This is a serious subject with genuine consequences.

Just as the building of a physical house has a definite cost, so does the decision to follow Jesus have a cost.  We’re told that we must take up a CROSS and deny ourselves, in order to follow Jesus.  Let’s read what the Scriptures have to say:

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  (Mt 10:38 KJV, emphasis added)

Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  (Lk 14:27 NASB)

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  (Mt 16:24 NRSV)

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  (Mk 8:34 NKJV)

First, we must deny ourselves!  What does that mean?  It means that we put Jesus and the Holy Spirit in charge of our lives.  We give up the throne that is our life, and ask Jesus to sit on the throne and to direct us by His Spirit.  We cannot follow Jesus and the world’s way at the same time.  Neither can we serve God and money at the same time.

Following Jesus may mean that we lose relationships, dreams, material things, and even our lives.  Our relationship with Jesus must take priority over everything else in our lives and must be of the supreme importance to us. 

We must, in essence, declare:  “I’d rather have Jesus than anything.”

If a day comes when someone threatens us with death if we do not renounce our faith in Jesus Christ, then we should happily choose Jesus and eternal life above staying here in our earthly body.  Pray for God’s blessings and grace in order to live boldly for Jesus.

May God’s grace strengthen you and empower you.

The Nature of Love

The Nature of Love

What is the nature of love, especially God’s love?  The Scriptures teach us what we want to know. 

We need to ask the Lord to give us wisdom, insight and revelation knowledge about these passages.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  (1 Cor 13:6-7 NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant.  (1 Cor 13:4 NASB)

. . . but love covers all offenses.  (Pro 10:12b NIV)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.  (Joh 3:16 CEB)

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  (1 Pet 4:8 NIV)

God’s kind of love, which we should desire to imitate, is described in these terms.

LOVE does not:

  • Delight in evil;
  • Is not jealous;
  • Does not brag; and
  • Is not arrogant.

LOVE:

  • Rejoices with the truth;
  • Always protects;
  • Always trusts;
  • Always hopes;
  • Always perseveres;
  • Is patient;
  • Is kind;
  • Covers all offenses;
  • Gives; and
  • Covers many sins.

This is the kind of love that God showers upon us each and every day.  And in order to be His ambassadors on this earth, it is our calling to share this same love with everyone.  Glory to God!

Guard Your Words & Emotions

Guard Your Words & Emotions

It is important for us to guard our words and our emotions.  Words are very important in life, and the Bible attests to that.  Let’s see what the Scriptures tell us.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  (Jam 1:19 NIV) 

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues guard themselves from trouble.  (Prov 21:23 CEB)

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.  (Prov 10:19 ESV)

Whoever controls his temper is better than a warrior, and anyone who has control of his spirit is better than someone who captures a city.  (Pro 16:32 ISV)

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.  (Col 3:8 NKJV)

We’re taught by the Word of God to be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry.  Do you notice that the only thing we should be QUICK about is listening?  Isn’t that opposite to what usually happens?

The wisdom that we can glean from God’s Word is that:

  • Restricting our words keeps us away from trouble;
  • We should control and limit our words;
  • Curtailing our lips is sensible and discreet;
  • Being able to control our own spirit is better than conquering an entire city; and
  • We should put away anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy and all filthy language.

As we live in harmony with and obedience to the Word of God, we invite God’s blessings upon our lives.  Hallelujah!

We Know Love, Thanks to Jesus

We Know Love, Thanks to Jesus

The Scriptures teach us that humanity knows love and is acquainted with love because Jesus gave up His own life to reconcile us back to our Father God.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  (1 Joh 3:16 NKJV)

 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Rom 5:8 NIV)

 Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it . . . (Eph 5:25 NCV)

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  (Eph 5:2 ESV)

All of these Bible passages refer to the fact that Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice was an ACT OF LOVE.  The Lord tells us through the Word that we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Husbands are admonished to love their wives even as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed Himself on behalf of the Church. Husbands should want to protect their wives and children even as the Lord did.

And we’re encouraged to follow the example of Christ, and to become (as He did) a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  This gives us a reason to examine ourselves and to ask ourselves if we are demonstrating our love in ways that are spiritually and relationally significant to our nearest and dearest.  God bless you as you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you in showing love to everyone in your life!

The Holy Spirit in Us

The Holy Spirit in Us

As the Scriptures tell us, the Lord has placed His Spirit within all believers.  In some places, the Bible even says that God poured out His Spirit upon us!

 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.  (Ezek 36:27 NKJV)

And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord God.  (Ezek 39:29 NKJV)

Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.  (Ac 2:33 NKJV)

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?  (1 Cor 3:16 NIV)

The person who keeps his commandments abides in God, and God abides in him. This is how we can be sure that he remains in us: he has given us his Spirit.  (1 Joh 3:24 ISV)

We need to listen for the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit daily.  We need to be continuously sensitive to His presence within us.  The Holy Spirit was given to all believers to be a helper and teacher, and to guide us into all truth.  (Joh 14:26; 16:13)

The Holy Spirit within a believer is the source of our revelation, wisdom and power.  (1 Cor 2:10-11; Jas 1:5; Ac 1:8)  The Holy Spirit supplies spiritual gifts to believers.  (1 Cor 12:7-11)  God, the Holy Spirit, has specific roles and obligations in the life of every believer.  Take time as soon as possible to study this key feature of your salvation.  God bless you!

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!

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Jesus spoke about Himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:11-18.

The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He causes me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
  (Ps 23:1-2 EHV)

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.  (Joh 10:11 NKJV)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  (Mt 6:33 NIV)

 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  (Phil 4:19 NASB)

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.  (1 Pet 5:4 ESV)

A shepherd is an overseer of his flock.  By identifying Himself as the Good Shepherd, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah foretold in the Scriptures.

In Ezekiel 34:1-10, the Lord outlines what constitutes a bad shepherd.  Through Ezekiel 34:11-31, Jesus establishes Himself as the Savior and Messiah, and the new leader of the Israelites.  He is the Good Shepherd who protects, provides for and cares for His sheep. We are the sheep of His pasture!

Jesus calls out to all people to (obey) His voice.  Glory to God!