Monday, June 25, 2018

Immigrants, Muslims and Liberals, Oh My!

It's apparent that I tend to have a lack of patience toward people who claim to be disciples/followers of Christ and yet have no love for their fellow man. Anyone who has truly come to Christ knows that they were at one time enemies of God themselves. Through God's mercy we were reconciled to God through the death and shed blood of the Lord Jesus the Christ. That means, we don't have ANY righteousness or goodness of our own. That means we who have received God's mercy would only want to share it with everyone we meet. The gift of God's undeserved mercy and favor was extended to us by God through His holy and beloved Son. This He did while we were all unsaved sinners and guided by darkness and ignorance. Then God shed His light upon us and we believed the gospel. Not because of any works we had done. Quite the opposite. Therefore, because we have received God's love, we have a duty to, are OBLIGATED to, are INDEBTED to share that love with every soul we meet to the best of our ability. And that ability grows and grows as we seek God everyday.
Therefore, none of us have any right to be hating our fellow man, painting them with a broad brush as evil or condemning whole groups of people while attempting to justify hatred by touting some kind of unjust man made law. Any man-made law does not and never will tru-mp God's law of loving neighbor as our self. (Matthew 22:36-40; Romans 13:10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8 and many more references in the Old Covenant writings)
IF you were ever forgiven by God through Christ, you would not be preaching any man-made law over God's law. You would see every soul you meet as an opportunity to preach the Good News of Jesus the Christ to them. So you were either never forgiven by God through Christ OR you have forgotten that you were forgiven by God through Christ. That is exactly what Peter says, "But whoever lacks these traits (faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love) is nearsighted to the point of blindness, having forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins." 2 Peter 1

And you see, these people who made themselves my opponents, they will not listen to God's words. They can only repeat rhetoric they heard from Fo-x N-ews and Rig-ht Wi-ng News sources. These people are self righteous hypocrites who are full of hate. Those who have been born again can clearly see the difference between these politi-cal cultists and the testimonies in God's Word. Paul says that the works/deeds/acts of the flesh "ARE OBVIOUS." He then lists 17 words describing the works of the flesh. Paul then says, that they who live after the flesh and do the things on his list "will NOT inherit the kingdom of God!" (Galatians 5:19-21)
Now, I don't want them to be shut out of heaven! I want them to realize how wrong they are and repent. And to do that, we have to SPEAK the truth and take a stand. Because we who have God's Spirit dwelling within us know they are wrong. Now what does God say if someone knows something is wrong and doesn't warn the person? He says that person's blood will be on OUR HANDS...(Ezekiel 3:17-19; Ezekiel 33:7-9) And I'm NOT going to let that happen. I am going to do my job as a watchman and warn the people. Because as God says, His sword is going to fall upon them sooner or later. God's word says "suddenly" it happens. (Luke 21:34-36; Proverbs 29:1)
Now listen very closely to what Paul says here and learn something very important. He says, "This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. BUT FOR THIS VERY REASON I WAS SHOWED MERCY, so that IN ME, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His perfect patience, AS AN EXAMPLE TO THOSE WHO WOULD BELIEVE IN HIM FOR ETERNAL LIFE.(!!!) Now to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." 1 Timothy 1:15-17 Amen!
Now we have to also understand who Paul was and what he was doing before he was saved. Out of his own mouth he confesses, "I persecuted this Way (of Jesus the Christ) even to the death, detaining both men and women and throwing them into prison," and "And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.'" Acts 22:4, 20
Who are you saying is beyond redemption? Who are you to judge in the place of GOD? God saved Paul. And if God can save Paul, God can save all these immigrants, Muslims, Liberals and everyone else.
But can He save YOU??
He can, if you can see yourselves for who you truly are. Unworthy sinners. Not worthy of God or the death of His Son. Lost. Doomed. On your way to an eternal hell. IN desperate need of a Savior, the Lord Jesus the Christ!
Read what Christ said to the self-righteous hypocrites, “Truly I tell you, the sinners and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. " Matthew 21:31
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Luke 5:31, 32
So what in God's Name are YOU trying to do? Stop people from entering heaven? You are only stopping yourselves!
God's faithful witness Stephen knew this righteousness was only through faith in Christ. A gift from God. And right before Stephen was killed it is written, "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55, 56
And as he was being stoned to death it is written, And Falling on his knees, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Acts 7:60
Stephen fully knew that the only difference between himself and his murderers was God's undeserved mercy which God had on Stephen through Christ. These murderers who, btw, were acting in a "legal" manner.. "it's duh law of duh land." they said.
We all need to be where Stephen was. He was described as "a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit." and "full of grace and power," who, "was performing great wonders and signs among the people." Acts 6:5, 8
Stephen was a true follower of God. And we all need to strive to be like him. Study his death and his last words. Could you do that? Could I? We need to be in that place. May God have mercy on us all. Amen
Please see here for more:
Thank you. And may God bless all those who seek Him with their whole heart. In Christ, Amen
And if you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, you may do so through this prayer: Get on your knees (if you can) and say, "My Lord and my God, Have mercy on my soul, a sinner, I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is listening to my prayer right now. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You into my heart Lord Jesus."
Amen

Sunday, June 03, 2018

GOING FURTHER....







The apostle Paul says, "... I try to please everyone in all I do. For I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many, that they may be saved. Imitate me, just as I also [imitate] Christ." 1 Corinthians 10:33, 11:1
I believe this is an example of an inappropriate chapter break. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians as a single book. No chapter and verse numbers. The Bible was first broken up into chapters in around A.D. 1227. The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use this chapter pattern. The Hebrew Old Testament was divided into verses by a Jewish rabbi by the name of Nathan in A.D. 1448. Robert Estienne, who was also known as Stephanus, was the first to divide the New Testament into standard numbered verses, in 1555. Stephanus essentially used Nathan's verse divisions for the Old Testament. Since that time, beginning with the Geneva Bible, the chapter and verse divisions employed by Stephanus have been accepted into nearly all the Bible versions. (Source: "Who divided the Bible into chapters and verses? Why and when was it done?" @ Got Questions dot com)
So considering that Paul was the inspired writer and didn't divide his book into chapters and verses, we need to look at the above verses as most likely connecting. And we see an incredible statement being made by Paul who then adds to it, :"Imitate me Just as I imitate Christ." and "just as I try to please everyone in all I do. For I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many, that they may be saved."
This is what I've been meditating on today.
Late last night I was looking at the Greek word, μιμητής (Strong's # 3402. mimétés - the root of the English term, mimic, "one who imitates, emulates"). This Greek noun has 6 occurrences and is always used positively in the New Covenant writings – spoken of followers of Christ emulating a God-approved example. The supreme model is God Himself (see Eph 5:1).
"I exhort you, be imitators of me...." 1 Corinthians 4:16
"Be imitators of me, just as I also Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1
"Therefore be imitators of God,..." Ephesians 5:1
"...you became imitators of us and of the Lord," 1 Thessalonians 1:6
"...became imitators of the churches..." 1 Thessalonians 2:14
...that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those..." Hebrews 6:12
FOUR TIMES Paul tells us to imitate him and Jesus! He uses the verb form twice in 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9 to say the same exact thing.
"For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not undisciplined among you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. Instead, in labor and toil, we worked night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you. Not that we lack this right, but we wanted to offer ourselves as an example for you to imitate."
If we have the Spirit of God, this needs to be our goal. We need to strive for this. We must strive for this. Why?
for "the good of many, that they may be saved." 1 Cor 10:33b
That's why. We can make an eternal difference in someone's life.
Paul told Timothy, "Be diligent in these matters and absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to your life and to your teaching. Persevere in these things, FOR BY DOING SO YOU WILL SAVE BOTH YOURSELF AND THOSE THAT HEAR YOU." 1 Timothy 4:15, 16
Paul says, "Though I am free of obligation to anyone, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the Law I became like one under the Law (though I myself am not under the Law), to win those under the Law. To those without the Law I became like one without the Law (though I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the Law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I MIGHT SAVE SOME OF THEM. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings." 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Are we hearing Paul? Are we hearing the Spirit. Are we convicted yet for falling so short? I am!
We can make a difference in people's lives. An eternal difference. Not only in the unsaved, but the saved as well. We can positively or negatively impact a born again brother or sister. We can cause them to stumble, or we can help correct them.
James says, "My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, consider this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and cover over a multitude of sins." James 5:19, 20
Amen. Thank God for His written word.
When it comes to serving Christ, I feel its good and right to challenge myself to go further. I then like to provoke others to challenge themselves. Paul was that way, because the Lord is that way. And I want to be like them. Paul also instructed the congregations to be like him as he followed Christ (1 Corinthians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6). Paul knew he was serving God. He was being obedient. That is why God "found him faithful" putting him in the ministry (1 Timothy 1:12). Paul was incredible. He compared everything to serving God. Like
Running a race ~1 Corinthians 9:24
Competing in all athletics ~1 Corinthians 9:25
Boxing ~1 Corinthians 9:26, 27
Being a soldier ~2 Timothy 2:4
Paul made these comparisons in his own personal walk with God. And it helped him. He saw that it helped him and he then shared these little spiritual exercises in his letters.
Paul saw things from Christ's view. Incredible, he was. God gave him so many revelations of God's power in Christ, and the utterance to express these things in words.
Paul saw this was available to ALL, through Christ. And when you see that, as Paul did, you can't keep quiet about it.
Paul brought some heavenly instruction for serving God which no one on earth would ever be able to give for any other activity. It was God-specific. Like this verse here,
"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us," Ephesians 3:20
Please read that again, slowly. Nobody can fulfill this work in any endeavor on this earth, unless they were going to be putting it into practice by serving God, and only by the power God offers through Christ, in our spirit (those who have been born again).
Now we have to realize, God has always said these kinds of things through His holy prophets and apostles. Christ said many similar things. Christ never told people what they did was good enough. Christ always told them to go further. Why. Because in Christ, more and more is always possible.
We need to grasp this. Like Paul did. We need to challenge ourselves. And then challenge ("provoke to love") our brethren (Hebrews 10:24). Paul used the word ἀγωνίζομαι. Yes, that is the exact word Paul used. As he wrote his letters in Greek. That Greek word is often translated into English as "strive". But what does that mean? This is what it means, "I am struggling, striving (as in an athletic contest or warfare); I contend, as with an adversary.... like engaged in an intense athletic contest or warfare." Jesus used this word too. Jesus said, "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able." Luke 13:24
If we go to Christ, "take" His yoke upon us, and learn of Him and strive, all these things are possible for us. Paul did not write those things to the church so the church would say, "wow, that sounds awesome!" No, he, by the Holy Spirit, wrote these things for the church to put into ACTION. And we have this same opportunity right now, as anyone ever did. If we take God's word seriously. And we take His yoke upon us and "strive", then the resurrected CHRIST will bring us into unimaginable spiritual territory! Just like Paul said.
THAT is where I want to go. Who wants to come with me?
I hope this little message blessed you. If so, please share it with everyone. Don't be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, "because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes".
All praise and glory belongs only to God the Father by His Anointed Son Jesus. Please read my other recent messages on my wall and share those too!
Thank you. And "May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ." 2 Thessalonians 3:5 Amen
We are God's creation. And we all will be judged by Him. That is simply the truth and we have to deal with it. We cannot put this off. We do not know when it will be our turn to stand before God for judgment. It can happen at any time. All who have died in this world have already met their fate. God makes sure we all are given plenty of chances before that day comes.
"For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2
Because tomorrow may never come.
The Bible says,
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13
And,
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12
If you read this message and you feel like God is calling you to turn from your sinful life right now and accept His precious gift of salvation through Christ, then say this prayer:
Say, "My Lord and my God, Have mercy on my soul, a sinner, I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is listening to my prayer right now. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You into my heart Lord Jesus."
God bless, and if something happened to you when saying the above prayer, please drop me a message here on FB. And kindly like my page and comment on and share my posts in groups or with loved ones acquaintances and even your enemies. Maybe they will receive Jesus and not be your enemies anymore! You can also join our group here: SpirituallySmart.Com (Job 28:28) Group
I pray that God the Father bless you through His Son Jesus the Christ, as you seek Him wholeheartedly. Amen.