Know Jesus & You’ll Know the Father

Know Jesus & You’ll Know the Father

The Scriptures below remind us that when we know Jesus, then we also know our heavenly Father. 

But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.  (Joh 15:21)

Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”  Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”  (Joh 8:19)

And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.  (Joh 16:3)

It’s our honor and our privilege to come to fully know Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  We do that by reading, studying, and meditating upon the Word of God.  In the Bible, we see verse upon verse explaining to us the nature and personality of the Lord.  The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ is entry into eternal life.

But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these I delight,” says the Lord.  (Jer 9:24)

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  (Joh 17:3)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  (1 Joh 4:7-8)

According to 1 John, God is love.  And everyone who loves is born of God and KNOWS GOD! 

Do you want to know God?  Then learn of His perfect love for YOU; study and meditate upon His love for you. Search out and meditate upon the Bible verses that discuss the love of God, and how His love has been manifested. Once you have received and fully understood His perfect love for you, turn around and shower that love upon everyone in your life, beginning with yourself.  As Matthew 19:19 reminds us, we can only love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Learn about God through His magnificent, matchless love.

What Are Idols?

What Are Idols?

You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you.  (Deu 6:14)

Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.  (Deu 8:19)

Little children, keep yourselves from idols.  (1 Joh 5:21)

What is an idol?  An idol can be a statue, a god or deity, a symbol, a hero, or an obsession.  Hollywood and movie industry stars can be idols for people, as can a certain model of a car, or a favorite brand of watch or any number of other things.

The key is, what is the most important thing in life to you?  What do you talk about the most?  What do you think about and dream of daily?  Around what are your goals centered?  Are you determined to achieve riches and fame?  Influence?  Do you dream of becoming a political influencer? 

Any of these things, and more, can become idols in a person’s life.  But God’s Word warns us strongly to stay away from these things.  Therefore, we need to take stock of our thoughts and to acknowledge what we value in our hearts. 

A follower of Jesus would value their relationship with their Savior more highly than any other thing in their lives.  Equally, Jesus’ followers would highly value the Word of God.  And of course, we also choose to honor and to consistently obey the teachings of the Bible. 

We may each joyfully pursue our relationship with our Lord, and endeavor to mature in faith in our Redeemer.  Life is all about Him—not about us.  Our true hero is Jesus Christ, our Savior.  Glory to God!

Keep in Step With the Spirit

Keep in Step With the Spirit

You may well ask, “How do we keep in step with the Holy Spirit?”  Let’s study that today.

  • Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Gal 5:25 NIV) 

This verse reminds us that we live by the Spirit (of God), so it is important that we walk in unity and harmony with Him.

  • It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (Joh 6:63 NKJV)

The Holy Spirit is the author of spiritual truth and life in all of its forms—physical, spiritual, and mental.  The Lord tells us in this verse that His words are spirit and life, so the more that we read, meditate upon, and memorize the word of God, the more that we are renewed, revived, and refreshed by it.

  • . . . who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Cor 3:6 NKJV)

Again the Bible affirms in the verse above that the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of life in all of its forms:

  1. A long life (Ps 91:16)
  2. An abundant life (Joh 10:10)
  3. A blessed life (Joh 10:10; Jam 1:12; Rev 22:14)
  4. Health and healing (Pro 3:7-8; 4:21-22; 3 Joh 1:2)

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  11 But if [since] the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  (Rom 8:10-11 KJV, emphasis & bracketed word added)

This passage from the book of Romans (above) reminds us that the Spirit is life, as well as the fact that the Holy Spirit dwells within each and every believer.

The Holy Spirit’s perfect, holy, healthy life is continuously quickened (accelerated, renewed) in each believer because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  (1 Cor 6:19) 

So, we may reasonably conclude that we “keep in step with the Spirit” by living in agreement with and in obedience to the Word of God, the Bible.  God bless you.

Sweet, Kind Words

Sweet, Kind Words

What do you think about people who always speak kindly, and who treat others with the respect of using kind and gracious words?  Such people are rare, but we must surely admire and respect them. 

Pleasant [gracious] words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.  (Pro 16:24 NKJV, definition in brackets added)

A gentle response diverts anger, but a harsh statement incites fury.  (Pro 15:1 ISV)

A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word!  (Pro 15:23 NASB)

Wholesome speech is a tree of life, but dishonest talk breaks the spirit.  (Pro 15:4 CEB)

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  (Pro 31:26 ESV, emphasis added)

As we can see from these Bible passages, kind and pleasant words bless all those who hear them as well as those who speak them.  Good-humored, pleasing words and conversation can bring about unexpected benefits.  Here are just some of them:

  • Joy to the soul and good health for body, soul, and spirit (Pro 16:24)
  • Turning anger away (Pro 15:1)
  • Delight (Pro 15:23)
  • Lengthens our lives and enriches them (Pro 15:4)
  • Wisdom and kindness go hand-in-hand (Pro 31:26)

It is always a source of awe-inspired wonder to me that there is such a richness and depth to the teachings of the Word of God when we take time to study them and to understand them in their fullness. 

May your life be enriched, lengthened, and blessed by the kind and pleasant words that you speak to others, and which other people speak to you.  All glory to God!

Reverence for the House of God

Reverence for the House of God

It pleases the Lord when we honor the place where He resides.  Since the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the “house of God” is any building or gathering place where two or more people assemble to study the Word of God, to teach others spiritual truths from the Bible, and to praise and worship the Lord. 

 ‘You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord.’  (Lev 19:30)

Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.  (Eccl 5:1)

And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” (Mt 21:13)

From these passages of Scripture we can recognize a number of truths.

The Lord tells us to reverence (respect; regard with awe) His sanctuary.  A sanctuary is a refuge, safe haven, or place of safety.  When we meet with fellow Christians to praise and worship God and to partake of His Word, we are in a place of safety and protection.  Our collective attitude of honor and respect contribute to the free flowing of the Holy Spirit to minister in our midst.

It isn’t a building that is the church—it is the people and the gathering of God’s people together that forms “the church.”  The sanctuary, the House of God, and the church are all synonymous terms.  Any place or building where God’s people gather together to give Him honor and praise can be understood to be “the church”; whether it’s an event room at a bowling alley, a rented meeting room in a hotel, or a family room in a private home.

The Word also reminds us to behave wisely as we enter into the meeting of the body of Christ.  How do we do that?  We “draw near to hear” with a heart full of obedience and true worship.

Lastly, the Scriptures remind us that the church is a “house of prayer” and that its main purpose is a spiritual one and not a monetary one.  God forbid that a body of believers would focus upon money instead of honoring God and His Holy Word.

It is very understandable that God would ask us to show honor and respect for any place where He meets with His people—all who call Him Savior and Lord.  Remember that GOD IS PRESENT when His people come together in His Name.  God bless you.

Praise at the Sound of God’s Word

Praise at the Sound of God’s Word

Today I’m meditating upon the importance of the Word of God.  Let us continuously praise the Lord for His Word.

In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord, when they hear the words of Your mouth.  Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.  (Ps 138:3-5, emphasis added)

When the kings of the earth hear the words of God’s mouth, they will praise the Lord and sing of His ways.  What an image!

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.  (Ps 22:27)  All the people of the earth shall remember the Lord and turn to Him and worship Him.  There is no doubt that this shall come to pass.

Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him.  (Ps 72:11, emphasis added)  People shall be in such awe of God, that they will actually FALL DOWN BEFORE HIM in order to worship Him and to pay Him honor.  This also reminds us that, one day, everyone shall serve the Lord.

Here are several Bible passages that talk about the wisdom of the Word of God:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple . . . (Ps 19:7)  God’s Word makes us wise.

You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me.  (Ps 119:98)  God’s Word gives us wisdom that enables us to be wiser than our enemies—and to thereby gain the victory.  When we have memorized God’s Word, it is forever with us.  Hallelujah!

The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken.  Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord; so what wisdom do they have?  (Jer 8:9)  This verse rightly asks the question:  “Since they have rejected God’s word, what wisdom do they have?”  The unspoken answer is:  none.

Be sure to avail yourself of the wisdom of the ages and the wisdom that will cause all kings and all nations on earth to serve the Lord.  Read and meditate upon God’s praiseworthy Word every day.

Ask What You Will

Ask What You Will

I’ve gathered some Bible verses that demonstrate that the Lord instructs us and teaches us to ASK for those things that we need and that we want from Him.  All that is required is faith in Jesus Christ and in the Word of God.

If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  (Joh 15:7 KJV)

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.  (Mt 21:22 NKJV)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  (Mt 7:7) 

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  (Jas 1:5, emphasis added)  Notice that God responds in two ways to our asking:  with generosity and without criticism.

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.  (1 Joh 5:14-15)

Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (Joh 14:13, emphasis added)  This verse says “whatever” we ask!  WHATEVER means that there are no restrictions to what we may ask.

Large asking and large expectation on our part honor God

The Lord wants us to ask Him for His blessings and benefits, which He lovingly and mercifully desires to give to us.  But notice that our asking is a necessary part of the process. 

The Lord frequently describes Himself in the Bible as our:  high tower; hiding place; shield and shelter.  (Deut 33:12; Ps 32:7; 61:3-4; 119:114; 143:9; 144:2)  In such places, there are a number of provisions such as water, food, arms/helmets/shields and the all-important elements of safety and protection.  He loves to supply what we need.

The Lord also says quite clearly in several verses of the Scripture that He will not withhold ANY GOOD THING from the righteous—and Jesus is our righteousness!  (2 Cor 5:21)  The Lord means what He says.

Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.  (Josh 23:14, underscoring added)

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

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Ps 84:11, underscoring added)

Brothers and sisters, ask God for what you need.  The Lord loves to give us whatever we need.

Whoever Assails You Will Fall

Whoever Assails You Will Fall

If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me.  Whoever assails you will fall because of you.  (Isa 54:15 NASB, emphasis added)

The Lord is declaring Himself as our protector and defender in this verse!  What a promise—what a breathtaking gift!  He says this many times in various ways in the Bible.

Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.  (Isa 41:11 NASB)

For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.  (Isa 49:25b NKJV)

Contend means to resist, oppose, or challenge.  The Lord says that when someone opposes or challenges one of His children, HE will be the One to deal with them.  Not only will He save us, but He’ll save our children. 

These are wonderful, powerful and precious promises to rely upon.  Don’t think that they’re only in the Bible to encourage us and to reassure us.  They are provided to us as weapons of our spiritual warfare!  (2 Cor 10:4; Eph 6:17 NKJV)

The Bible teaches us that the Word of God is living and powerful—active.  It goes on to say that it is sharper than any two-edged sword, able to perceive (detect) the thoughts and purposes of a person’s heart!

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 NKJV)

Use the Word of God as the weapon that it truly is.  Meditate upon it; speak with the Lord about it; and let Him know that you not only believe it but you depend up it to come to pass in your life.  Believe the Word and stand upon it by faith.

Your faith and trust in Him and in His Word will please the Lord as well as improve your life immeasurably.

The Living Word

The Living Word

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  (Heb 4:12 ESV)

What does “living” mean?  It means:

  • alive [full of life];
  • animate [having life], or
  • sentient [aware; able to perceive or feel things].

This passage of Scripture tells us that the written Word of God is alive and active—even that it is able to recognize and to perceive the plans and objectives of our hearts.  That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?  As we read God’s Word, His Word reads each one of us.

The Bible is the message given to mankind from the Living God, who is our Savior and Redeemer.  Jesus spoke of the life-giving characteristic of His Words:  “The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” (Joh 6:63)

Other Bible verses showing that God’s Word is alive:

  • It sustains man. (Lk 4:4)
  • It gives faith. (Rom 10:17)
  • It is unlimited. (2 Tim 2:9c)
  • It produces spiritual birth. (1 Pet 1:23)
  • It abides in believers. (1 Joh 2:14)

We can see that the life inherent in the Word produces much fruit:

  • in the lives of sinners who have repented;
  • in removing sinful habits from people’s lives; and
  • in signs, wonders, and miracles.

Don’t take the Bible for granted.  Don’t relegate it to the background of your life, but keep it front and center.  Read it, study it, and enjoy it!  It is the veritable power of God in your life.

Imagination—A Benefit for the Kingdom

Imagination—A Benefit for the Kingdom

The imagination at its core is good because it comes from God who created each one of us with an imagination.  God imagined US before He created us.  When we are curious for answers, it can trigger our imagination to become creative in finding unique solutions.

And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.  (Lk 2:47, underscoring added) 

When you need answers, turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the Word of God.

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  (Mt 7:8)

When we ask questions or seek for answers (in the Lord), God will bring us the information that we need in wondrous and miraculous ways.

But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  (Gal 6:4)

When we examine our own work, to determine its excellence or ability to meet a specific need, then we may rejoice over our work and what we have accomplished for the glory of God and His kingdom.

We need to develop our imagination, and in order to do that we need input from numerous other people.  So we need to build friendships and relationships with other, talented people.  As we do this our neural networks develop and we use more and more of our brainpower!

Imagination takes us to new places and helps us to envision new possibilities.  Don’t limit people to your view of the world or to your life experiences.  Create a judgment-free zone in which to grow your imagination.  “Big Imagination” should equal “big sense of humor” as well. 

Think of (imagine) the good and excellent things that God has given to us.  (Phil 4:8)