Two Important Instructions

Two Important Instructions

We are instructed by God’s Word to do two central things: 

(1)  do good deeds, and

(2) to search for and practice being at peace with all people.

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  (Ps 34:14 NIV)  Turn away from evil (in thought, word, and deed).  Do good to others and look for (and chase after) inspired ways to be at peace with all people.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord . . .  (Heb 12:14)  Follow peace, and practice peace—as well as living a righteous life; for without these things, no man will see the Lord.

Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.  (1 Pet 3:11)

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.  (Gal 6:10)  We are told to do good to all, especially our brothers and sisters in the faith.

This is not as easy as it may sound!  “DO GOOD TO ALL” does not give the impression of being difficult, right?  However, when you think about “doing good” to people you don’t particularly like, to a malicious co-worker, to a mean store clerk, or to those who are unappealing and unpleasant, then the challenge comes much more clearly into focus. 

The Lord also wants us to be at peace with these kinds of people:  all who are obnoxious and unlovable. 

We were created in the image of God (Gen 1:27), and God loves each and every human being.  He wants all people to be saved.  (2 Pet 3:9)  People are won over to Christ and to the gospel of salvation through our lives and through our testimonies.  They are also won over by our kindnesses and our good deeds. They are persuaded by our actions to those who are unlovely.

Following Christ’s example will bring forth eternal fruit for the Kingdom of God.

Savior & Deliverer

Savior & Deliverer

Our God is our Savior and our Deliverer.  His Word is full of His promises to us, and it also contains the testimonies of many believers who have experienced the Lord’s saving power and deliverance.

The Lord will save me when anyone tries to hurt me, and he will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. Glory forever and ever be the Lord’s. Amen.  (2 Tim 4:18 NCV)

But the Lord is faithful and will give you strength and will protect you from the Evil One.  (2 Thes 3:3 NCV)

God saved us from these great dangers of death, and he will continue to save us. We have put our hope in him, and he will save us again.  (2 Cor 1:10 NCV)

These Bible verses remind us of some wonderful truths about the God whom we serve:

  • God saves us from those who try to harm us;
  • The Lord will make sure that we arrive safely in heaven;
  • Our God is faithful;
  • God’s grace will give us strength and protect us from the enemy of our souls;
  • God has saved our souls, and will continue to save us day-by-day; and
  • As long as we put our hope in Him, He will continue to save us time after time.

There is no God like our God!  (Ex 8:10; 1 Sam 2:2; 1 Chr 17:20)  Let us give Him all of the glory, honor, and praise!

Blank Checks

Blank Checks

Most people know what is meant by the term “blank check.”  It implies an invitation to use however many funds or resources we may need.  And these resources are supplied by the person or persons who own the checking account against which the blank check is written.

Our God has given us His Word which is full of testimonies and also promises of blessings.  Quite some years ago, while teaching a class, I realized that many Scriptural promises were exactly like a blank check!  I began referring to them as the “Blank Check Bible Verses.”  To encourage you to search out some of these precious promises on your own, I’m going to share a handful of them here with you!

But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  (Ps 34:10b)  There’s no boundary on what good thing, but rather the opposite with this verse!

Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God our salvation.  (Ps 68:19)  The word “benefits” can mean blessings, payments, grants, allowances, profits, etc., etc.  Notice that we’re “loaded” [filled; packed; heaped; stuffed; and even overwhelmed] with these benefits DAILY!  This is quite a blank check!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  (Mt 7:7)  Do you understand the blank check nature of this verse?

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  (Mt 19:26)  There is no limit to the word ‘ALL’ is there?

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will [His Word], He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  (1 John 5:14-15)  The words “anything” and “whatever” are two more words that do not imply limits of any kind.

To date, I have discovered 25 such verses in the Bible, and I urge you to continue hunting for more of these wonderful promises from the heart of our loving God.  Happy hunting!

Long Life

Long Life

Our God has promised to give His people long life as the verses shown below demonstrate.

  1. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. (Deut 5:33 ESV)
  2. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation. (Ps 91:16)
  3. My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. (Pro 3:1-2)
  4. The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short. (Pro 10:27)
  5. Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb: even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you!  I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.  (Isa 46:3b, 4)

God enjoys blessing and protecting us for we are His people.  He has given us a calling and a mission to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to make disciples.  (See Mat 28:18-20 & Mk 16:15)  This is HOW we are to use the long lives that He has given to us!

We’re called to be witnesses to the ends of the earth, telling others about Jesus’ atoning work on behalf of all mankind.  (See Acts 1:8)  Not only that, but the Lord wants us to share our own testimonies of what He has done for each one of us.  We all have testimonies to share of answered prayers and miracles that God has done on our behalf.

Making disciples is all about continuing the chain of redemption by passing on the faith that was passed to you.  (See Rom 10:14-15)  We are all called to use our long lives wisely on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Irrevocable Gifts & Calling

Irrevocable Gifts & Calling

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  (Rom 11:29)

“Irrevocable” means that God won’t change His mind about what He has called you to do. If God has called you, that calling is still there, whether or not you’ve obeyed. And if God gave you a gift—if He gifted you along a certain line—that gift is still in you.

Therefore He says:  “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”  (Eph 4:8)

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ . . .  (Eph 4:11-12)

There are gifts that God has given to the church, and these are referred to as the five-fold ministry gifts:  apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.  There’s also a gift of helps that we all can get involved in. 

As believers, we’re all called to share the salvation story (gospel) with others and to encourage them to trust in Christ for themselves.  It’s a matter of explaining how Jesus reconciled all of mankind to God, and sharing our own testimonies freely and joyfully.

Each member of the church of Christ has a role to play.  (1 Cor 12:27)  Maybe God has called you to the full-time ministry; or to be a businessman or an artist or a musician.  The list can go on and on, but whatever gifts, talents, and skills that He has given you—use them!  Appreciate them and enjoy them, and use them to bring glory to God. 

If you didn’t obey God, and haven’t responded to His call upon your life in a certain area, it’s never too late with the Lord!  Just turn to Him, talk with Him about your change of heart, and ask Him to open doors for you to walk through.  He will answer your prayers and bless you.

 

Rejoice!

Rejoice!

Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness [graciousness, forbearance] be known to all men.  The Lord is at hand.  (Phil 4:4-5) 

The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.  (Ps 118:15)

Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart.  (Ps 119:111)

Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.  (Jer 15:16)

. . . rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer . . . (Rom 12:12)

As you can see from these Bible passages, rejoicing is an integral part of the life of a believer.  We’re told to rejoice in Philippians.

The “voice of rejoicing and salvation” is heard in the homes of the righteous because God’s right hand (who is Jesus) does valiantly. 

Valiantly means with courage or determination.  Jesus fulfilled his calling to become our Savior and Redeemer!  He fulfilled that calling with courage and determination. 

“That hero of heroes, the conquering Savior, gives to all the families of his people abundant reasons for incessant song now that he has led captivity captive and ascended up on high. Let none of us be silent in our households: if we have salvation let us have joy, and if we have joy let us give it a tongue wherewith it may magnify the Lord.”  –  Excerpt from commentary on Psalm 118:15

Source of above quotation:  http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/treasury-of-david/psalms-118-15.html

As believers, we have so many great reasons to rejoice.  God’s word, which is full of His precious promises to us, is another reason for us to rejoice.

As we wait for God to fulfill His promises to us, we rejoice in hope!  Under all circumstances, let us praise God and rejoice in Him.