Who Are You Traveling With??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #729

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #729  Who Are You Traveling With???

 

Traveling is great fun for me, of course I learned to enjoy it as a child when my father was in the Navy; because we were often away from family and friends, we traveled on our vacation times to see those family members and other friends!  I loved it, except for the challenges of three children in the back seat—me being among them—and all the creative ways our parents used to try and keep us occupied! One of my favorite things to watch for as we drove the roads of America were the “Burma Shave” signs—if you’re too young to know what those are just “google it”, as they say—and life is kind of like that!  On our journey through life, we must watch for the ‘signs’ and if we are believers in Jesus, HE will grant us all we need to follow HIM.

What I want us to consider today is the daily journey of life; we travel along in this life often oblivious to the real things going on around us!  There are spiritual battles going on all around us and we can miss what’s really going on; but God calls us to walk with HIM through this life and be available for HIS service in unexpected and unique encounters that we will miss if we aren’t tuned to to our Father God, and Lord Jesus via HIS Holy Spirit working within us.  I belong to JESUS and ought to live like it, for I have been blood-bought and redeemed!  What less could I do than give my all to Jesus?  Here are some portions of what Paul shared with the people of Greece when he visited there–paying attention.

God that made the world

and all things therein,

seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth,

dwelleth not in temples

made with hands;

25 Neither is worshipped

with men’s hands,

as though he needed any thing,

seeing he giveth to all

life,

and breath,

and all things…

…. and hath determined the times

before appointed,

and the bounds of their habitation;

27 That they should seek the Lord,

 if haply they might feel after him,

and find him,

though he be not far from every one of us:

28 For in him

we live,

and move,

and have our being…..”  Acts 17:28

Paul was telling the spiritually blind Grecians that “in him we live, and move, and have our being”, how can we who claim to belong to Jesus not realize our calling to order our steps and our lives in light of this truth—all the truth in HIS WORD!

For of him,

and through him,

and to him,

are all things:

to whom be glory

for ever. Amen.”  Romans 11:36

God also reminds us that we battle unseen forces all around us and we must put on HIS armor every day to be prepared.

Finally, my brethren, be strong

 in the Lord,

 and in the power

of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God,

that ye may be able to stand against

the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,

but against principalities,

against powers,

against the rulers of the darkness

of this world,

against spiritual wickedness

in high places.”  Ephesians 6:10-12

On this journey we can choose with whom we will walk.  Are you choosing God, His Word and His way, or the world’s destructive lies?  It’s your choice—here’s some guiding scripture that I hope will speak to our hearts and lead our steps!

The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

I am come

that they might have life,

and that they might have it

more abundantly.”  John 10:10

The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down

in green pastures:

he leadeth me

beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul:

he leadeth me in the paths

of righteousness

for his name’s sake.”  Psalm 23:1-3

And in closing:

Blessed is the man

that walketh not

in the counsel of the ungodly,

nor standeth

in the way of sinners,

nor sitteth

in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight

is in the law of the LORD;

and in his law doth he meditate

day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree

planted by the rivers of water,

that bringeth forth his fruit

in his season;

 his leaf also

shall not wither;

and whatsoever he doeth

shall prosper.”  Psalm 1:1-3

And that kind of sums it up.  So, to repeat our title, “Who are YOU traveling with?”!  Won’t you join me in committing to seek HIS face and walk in HIS ways—and find rest and peace and truth!

I am the door:

by me if any man enter in,

he shall be saved,

and shall go in and out,

and find pasture.”  John 10:9

 

Amen and Amen!!!

Your Attitude Matters! Really??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #728

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #728  Your Attitude Matters!  Really???

 

I just want to share a relatively brief word of encouragement with you this morning that I hope will lift your heart, mind and eyes heavenward.  It’s so easy to become so bogged down with earth’s seeming drudgery, that we so often miss the very real presence of our Lord.  Like Paul, and while I fall so far short regularly, I desire to reflect Jesus—no more, no less.

But God forbid that I should glory,

save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom the world is crucified unto me,

and I unto the world.”  Galatians 6;14

We had a little crisis last evening, when we couldn’t find the charger to my husband’s portable oxygen device, and we knew we’d need to charge it to be out of the house today.  Well, last night we hunted and fretted (yes, I know Jesus said, “fret not”, but sometimes it just jumps up on me, like a dog on a bone!) and couldn’t find it.  It was late and I was tired, so I told my husband, ‘I’ll check the car in the morning’, for I wasn’t going to get dressed again to go out to the car!  I really did rest well, because I had asked God to help us; and this morning I prayed again, for I knew I couldn’t fix this problem alone, and sure enough there it was in the car (probably having fallen out of the bag), but it was there and it’s charging as I write this now.  I just praised God for all HIS amazing grace in the “small stuff”—but you see, when we truly learn to walk with Jesus—there “ain’t no small stuff” for we are HIS child, and even more than you and I, HE loves HIS children and wants the best for us.  I’m thinking of the wonderful song by the Collingsworth Family, “If It Matters To You, It Matters To The Master!” (Written by Sarah McCutcheon), for its message is so true (if you haven’t heard it, check it out on the music services or YouTube—you’ll be blessed) and so needed in our culture today!

My point is, we had a choice—and so do you—we could have spent our time “doubting, pouting and dropping outing” (as my former Pastor Brad was wont to say), or we could choose to trust “The Master”—HE who holds us in HIS hands!  And when we will learn to know HIM, we will come to trust HIM more and more each day, trusting Him with greater and greater parts of our lives!  And that, my friends, is the thing that God desires from us—our total trust and devotion.  But remember it is a choice!  We can choose to fill our lives with gratitude, focusing on the cross and our risen LORD; or we can allow the things of this world to crowd HIM out!  Me?  I’m going to do my best to join Paul and make the cross my focal point.

And I, brethren,

when I came to you,

came not with excellency of speech

or of wisdom,

declaring unto you the testimony of God.

2 For I determined not to know any thing

among you,

save Jesus Christ,

and him crucified.

3 And I was with you in weakness,

and in fear,

and in much trembling.

4 And my speech and my preaching

was not with enticing words

of man’s wisdom,

but in demonstration of the Spirit

and of power:

5 That your faith

should not stand in the wisdom of men,

but in the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 2:1-5

I simply ask that you ponder these things today—in light of whatever crises you are facing.  Who will you run to?  Friends?  Relatives?  TV and modern philosophies?  Will you choose Jesus as your counselor, strength, and confidence?  Or will you settle for the world’s garbage heap?

As I’ve said before, it’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test!  And I can’t help but believe it’s very near!

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

And in closing, the words of our Lord:

My sheep hear my voice,

and I know them,

and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life;

and they shall never perish,

neither shall any man pluck them

out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me,

is greater than all;

and no man is able to pluck them

out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father

are one.”  John 10:27-30

Whose sheep are you?  Whose voice are you heeding?  Food for thought.  Amen and Amen!

 

God’s Still On HIS Throne??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #727

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #727  God’s Still On His Throne???

 

As we approach Mother’s Day, my heart is often grieved for our nation and the sad state of families and the world’s degraded opinion of mothers.  The world around us is trying to erase the lines of God’s creation, morality and the gift of children is the saddest of all.  We have made children disposable—we have not only denied the blessing of children but have approved of and even promoted the killing of children because they are “unwanted”!

It makes me sad that we have bought the lies of the enemy and are killing our children on the altar of convenience.  And not only the lives of the unborn are at stake, but even the children that have lived are often neglected and mistreated to a degree that is unconscionable and yet we just go on like there is no tomorrow.  This situation is addressed in scripture—God’s Word tells us that this kind of disregard of God, His Word and human life would become rampant in the last days.

This know also,

that in the last days

perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves,

covetous,

boasters,

proud,

blasphemers,

disobedient to parents,

unthankful,

unholy,

3 Without natural affection,

trucebreakers,

false accusers,

incontinent,

fierce,

despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors,

heady,

highminded,

lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness,

but denying the power thereof:

from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they

which creep into houses,

and lead captive silly women

laden with sins,

led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning,

and never able

to come to the knowledge

of the truth.”  2 Timothy 3:1-7

Reading this list is like reading a current newspaper—yet it seems to me as though we are reaping what we have sown!  We have denigrated the import of God’s design for mankind—for God created “male and female” and established marriage and the home as the foundation stone of society—not this crazy mixed-up circus that we see today!

And God said,

Let us make man

in our image,

after our likeness:

and let them have dominion…

… over every creeping thing

that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man

in his own image,

in the image of God

created he him;

male and female

created he them.

28 And God blessed them,

and God said unto them,

Be fruitful,

and multiply,

and replenish the earth,

and subdue it:

and have dominion

over the fish of the sea,

and ….. over every living thing

that moveth upon the earth…

…2: 22 And the rib,

which the LORD God had taken from man,

made he a woman,

and brought her unto the man.

23 And Adam said,

This is now bone of my bones,

and flesh of my flesh:

she shall be called Woman,

because she was taken out of Man.

24 Therefore shall a man

leave his father and his mother,

and shall cleave unto his wife:

and they shall be one flesh.”                      Portions of Genesis 1:26-28 & 2:22-24

And yes, before you ask, I believe in the Genesis account of creation—it is the foundation on which all other scripture stands, for if there was no creation, there was no Adam and Eve; if there was no Adam and Eve, there was no sin; and if there was no sin, there is NO NEED for a Redeemer!  Yet, Jesus IS The Redeemer of all who will come to Him in repentance and faith, for “all have sinned”! And Jesus Himself confirmed the truth of this Genesis account, and God’s design for mankind, marriage and the home!!!  (See Romans 3:23 & 6:23)

And he answered and said unto them,

Have ye not read,

that he which made them

at the beginning

made them male and female,

5 And said,

For this cause

shall a man leave father and mother,

and shall cleave to his wife:

and they twain shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain,

but one flesh.

What therefore God hath joined together,

let not man put asunder.”  Matthew 19:4-6

God established marriage, the home and the important priority of parents, yet we have abandoned all of the above today.  Many, if not most, choose to live together without benefit of marriage—for marriage is seen as unimportant–, and if they marry it’s with a swinging door (and I know what it means to believe those lies, as I made some of those same mistakes in the past—and I praise God that HE does forgive, cleanse and restore through Jesus, when we come to HIM!) powered by divorce.  We leave children fatherless or motherless or often today, parentless.  Then we wonder why our culture is falling apart!  We wonder why our children are in distress!  We can’t figure out why our children and young people are committing heinous crimes.  Well, when we reject God and His Word, we will suffer the consequence.

What can we do?  We must come to God in humility and repentance for our part in this mess we have created in our land.  We must face our own sin, turn from it and cling to the cross and HIM who died for us!  We must once again cling to and stand for the righteous truth that God IS GOD, and we need to seek HIS face and HIS truth and live by it.  And we moms must cling to God’s truth NOT the world’s lies!

In the LORD put I my trust:

how say ye to my soul,

Flee as a bird to your mountain?

2 For, lo,

the wicked bend their bow,

they make ready their arrow upon the string,

that they may privily

shoot at the upright in heart.

3 If the foundations be destroyed,

what can the righteous do?

4 The LORD is in his holy temple,

the LORD’S throne is in heaven:

his eyes behold,

his eyelids try,

the children of men.

5 The LORD trieth the righteous:

but the wicked and him that loveth violence

his soul hateth.

6 Upon the wicked

he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone,

and an horrible tempest:

this shall be the portion of their cup.

7 For the righteous LORD

loveth righteousness;

his countenance

doth behold the upright.”  Psalm 11:1-7

God sees and HE knows!  Our job is to confess our own part—without pointing fingers at everyone else but ourselves—then Jesus can and will respond with “healing in HIS wings”!  And oh, I can’t express the joy of knowing Jesus and the healing and restoration HE brings to my heart, soul, mind and life!

But if we walk in the light,

as he is in the light,

we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son

cleanseth us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin,

we deceive ourselves,

and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins,

he is faithful and just

to forgive us

our sins,

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned,

we make him a liar,

and his word is not in us.”  1 John 1:7-10

And just as the key word above is “IF”, the “key word” in another passage we often quote, is “IF”; may we who are “HIS” truly repent, receive HIS forgiveness and be cleansed to walk forth in HIS light and glory?  May we sincerely ask GOD to bless America once again, and be willing to obey?

If my people,

which are called by my name,

shall humble themselves,

and pray,

and seek my face,

and turn from their wicked ways;

then will I hear from heaven,

and will forgive their sin,

and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

And if you’d allow me, “then and only then”!!!

Amen and Amen!!!

(And I’m taking Sunday off for Mother’s Day—so Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms and women of godly influence!  May God bless you and yours!)

 

Sharing Motherly Wisdom??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #726

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #726  Sharing Motherly Wisdom???

 

Who can find a virtuous woman?

for her price

is far above rubies.”  Proverbs 31:10

A virtuous woman is a treasure, not because I said so, but because God’s Word says so!  But what is virtue?

Virtue: moral excellence; goodness; righteousness—

   Conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral

   and ethical principles; uprightness, rectitude…

God seems to be telling us that “virtue” is a prime character trait of the godly woman, and as the Proverb goes on to reveal, a godly woman will also be a godly, virtuous mother; and we are surely in need of virtuous women and mothers today.  As Mother’s Day approaches, I thought it would be a good time to address godly womanhood, and motherhood; I have said this before and I’ll say it again, even women who haven’t given “birth” to a child still affect the lives of the children around them whether or not they ever give “birth” to any particular child.  We need women who value life, goodness and righteousness, ever learning—ever teaching. We are surely experiencing a drought of godly women and mothers; so, what can we do?  I/YOU can live a godly righteous life before God and whoever is watching us each day.  What should that look like?  Let’s check out God’s Word and see.

She is like the merchants’ ships;

she bringeth her food from afar.

15 She riseth also while it is yet night,

and giveth meat to her household,

and a portion to her maidens.”  Proverbs 31:14-15

A godly woman, wife and mother takes care of her home—she provides nutritious food as her means allow, she is diligent to take care of the needs of her household and, as Solomon puts it, she takes care of her “maidens”.  While most of the people in my circle don’t have household helpers in the flesh, we do have helpers and we should take care of them and be grateful for them—such as your washing machine, a dryer, a dishwasher (even the teens you’re teaching to do that task– 🙂 ), a vacuum…you get the picture.  We are to appreciate our blessings and use them to care and provide for our families with all love and strength.

She considereth a field,

and buyeth it:

with the fruit of her hands

she planteth a vineyard.

17 She girdeth her loins with strength,

and strengtheneth her arms.

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good:

her candle goeth not out by night.

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle,

and her hands hold the distaff.”   Proverbs 31:16-19

Here we have a woman who is not idle, but spends her time being productive—and whether you are being productive as a “home-maker” full time or working outside the home we are each responsible for the welfare of our home—for our husband and our children!  Many say today that being a “full time” mom is a waste of a woman’s gifts and talents—I beg to differ!  The greatest work a woman can do is to raise godly, mature, productive children who can pass on the baton of godliness and a scriptural worldview, and work-ethic.  And how is this biblical?  Paul says it best (though many don’t care for this passage), it is truly foundational to a godly, healthy, and productive society.

For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us:

for we behaved not ourselves

disorderly among you;

8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread

for nought;

but wrought

with labour

and travail

night and day,

that we might not be chargeable

to any of you:

9 Not because we have not power,

but to make ourselves an ensample

unto you to follow us.

10 For even when we were with you,

this we commanded you,

that if any would not work,

neither should he eat.

11 For we hear that there are some

which walk among you disorderly,

working not at all,

but are busybodies.

12 Now them that are such

we command

and exhort

by our Lord Jesus Christ,

that with quietness

they work,

and eat their own bread.

13 But ye, brethren,

be not weary

in well doing.”  2 Thessalonians 3:7-13

We are to be diligent and not grow “weary in well doing”—and we need to take note of this and be reminded that “well doing” can get tiresome!  As women we can understand that truth.  Jesus Himself got weary during His ministry and you and I will get weary in ours; but we can walk on in confidence that our God will supply as we go about doing HIS will.

I know both how to be abased,

and I know how to abound:

every where

and in all things

I am instructed

both to be full

and to be hungry,

both to abound

and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things

through Christ which strengtheneth me

…. 19 But my God shall supply

all your need

according to his riches in glory

by Christ Jesus.

20 Now unto God and our Father

be glory for ever and ever.

Amen.”  Portions of Philippians 4:12-20

We can be confident in our God—and whether you work outside the home or are a ‘staty-at-home’ mom, you can “do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”.  I would just caution each of us to consider truth “in all things”—don’t fall for the lies of the world, that ‘caring for your family is not fulfilling’; or the one that says, ‘you can have it all’; as a friend once told me “you can have your cake and eat it too, just not at the same time”!  What we must consider is, how is GOD calling you/me to use our resources?  You can’t spend time with your spouse and children if you’re never home!  You can’t see the needs of your children if you are never with them!  You can’t grow in a relationship with your spouse if you never make time to be together!  You can’t KNOW God intimately if you never spend time with HIM!  We must consider God’s Word to be the dictate of our heart, not the world’s standard!  We are to be faithful to God, home and others, considering the limitations of our soul, mind and body—with God’s help, and at HIS direction!  Yet we are never to be presumptuous on God’s grace, provision and sovereignty.  Praying always!

Our praying should always align with what Jesus instructed:

After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done

in earth,

as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day

our daily bread.”  Matthew 6:9-11

Our prayer life should keep us in tune with God’s position as our total provision, then doing our part to be faithful workers—at home, at work, or wherever God leads us! Being godly examples of HIS love—starting at HOME!

A new commandment I give unto you,

That ye love one another;

as I have loved you,

that ye also love one another.

35 By this shall all men know

that ye are my disciples,

if ye have love

one to another.”  John 13:34-35

Ever loving Jesus—our family—and the world—all to God’s glory, in HIS will, keeping our eyes on Jesus, being godly women of faith and joy in HIS WORD and all it teaches us.

But thanks be to God,

which giveth us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren,

be ye stedfast,

unmoveable,

always abounding

in the work of the Lord,

forasmuch as ye know

that your labour is not in vain

in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 15:57-58

So, we can choose, as men, women, boys and girls to follow Jesus, follow His Word, and be true reflections of HIS glory! Or we can reject Jesus and go our own way!  It’s your choice Mom, what will you do?  And remember there is a test—and not only a test–there are little feet following in your/my steps no matter what our words say!

Grace and peace be multiplied

unto you

through the knowledge of God,

and of Jesus our Lord,

3 According as his divine power

hath given unto us all things

that pertain unto life and godliness,

through the knowledge of him

that hath called us

to glory and virtue:

4 Whereby are given unto us

exceeding great and precious promises:

that by these

ye might be partakers of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption

that is in the world through lust.

5 And beside this,

giving all diligence,

add to your faith virtue;

and to virtue knowledge;”  2 Peter 1:2-5

‘Nuff said!  Amen and Amen!

Doing A Job Or Being A Job? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 05

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 05 Doing A Job Or Being A Job?

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things

are of God,

who hath reconciled us to himself

by Jesus Christ,

and hath given to us the ministry

of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ,

reconciling the world unto himself,

not imputing their trespasses

unto them;

and hath committed unto us

the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,

as though God did beseech you by us:

we pray you in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him

to be sin for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made

the righteousness of God

in him.”  2 Corinthians 5:17-21

We have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus—and that blood not only makes us right with God, but makes us “a new creature”, new “in Christ” all because God did a work beyond our wildest comprehension—God laid my/your sin on Jesus for the work of crediting us with the “righteousness of God”!  But the caveat is that this righteousness is only found “in him”!  In Jesus–we must be “in him”—for only being IN HIM and having HIM IN us can we truly have life!  And Job understood that totally—HE KNEW that it is only IN God’s salvation that we can have life and hope no matter our circumstances.

For I know that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand

at the latter day

upon the earth:

26 And though after my skin worms

destroy this body,

yet in my flesh

shall I see God:

27 Whom I shall see for myself,

and mine eyes shall behold,

and not another;

though my reins be consumed

within me.”  Job 19:25-27

Job is such a profound book, and full of truth from a man who had not only faith in God, but a confidence in the care and goodness of that same God, regardless of how things appeared.

Though he slay me,

yet will I trust in him:

but I will maintain mine own ways

before him.

16 He also shall be my salvation:

for an hypocrite

shall not come before him.”  Job 13:15-16

Job understood that his confidence was in God’s salvation, and that belonging to God gave him a heart to follow God’s ways and “maintain mine own ways before him”!  We live in a day that says we can claim to belong to Jesus and live our own way—it denies the claim that Jesus has on HIS own.

For we are labourers

together with God:

ye are God’s husbandry,

ye are God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God

which is given unto me,

as a wise masterbuilder,

I have laid the foundation,

and another buildeth thereon.

But let every man take heed

how he buildeth thereupon.

11 For other foundation can no man lay

than that is laid,

which is Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 3:9-11

Paul was talking to the believers at Corinth and reminding them that there would be an accounting—even for believers.  And God will know and reveal the truth of our lives—the fires of judgment will reveal the real substance of our work.  Paul knew that there is only ONE foundation—Jesus; and when we build on the salvation that Jesus imparts, it will be evident by our behavior—we are a testimony of Jesus, be it a good one, or a poor one—when we claim Jesus as our Lord, we need to understand that we belong to HIM, and our works should reflect HIS presence within us!  Are we being HIS temple or our own?

Now if any man build upon this foundation

gold,

silver,

precious stones,

wood,

hay,

stubble;

13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest:

for the day shall declare it,

because it shall be revealed by fire;

and the fire shall try every man’s work

of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide

which he hath built thereupon,

he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man’s work

shall be burned,

he shall suffer loss:

but he himself shall be saved;

yet so as by fire.

16 Know ye not

that ye are the temple of God,

and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”                                     1 Corinthians 3:12-16

We are the “temple of God” when we have been born again and the Holy Spirit dwells within us, for the Spirit of God makes us that “new creation” in Jesus.  Without the Spirit of God, we aren’t HIS!  Not trying to be blunt or abrupt, but we need to know truth.

So then they that are in the flesh

cannot please God.

9 But ye are not in the flesh,

but in the Spirit,

if so be that the Spirit of God

dwell in you.

Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,

he is none of his.

10 And if Christ be in you,

the body is dead because of sin;

but the Spirit is life

because of righteousness.”  Romans 8:8-10

It’s what Jesus called us to—righteousness.  What are you seeking? Is the Spirit of Christ dwelling in you?  Or are you trying to ‘work it up’ in your own power and goodness?

But seek ye first

the kingdom of God,

and his righteousness;

and all these things shall be added

unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought

for the morrow:

for the morrow

shall take thought

for the things of itself.

Sufficient unto the day

is the evil thereof.”  Matthew 6:33-34

And you may not be sure, but God is—ask HIM and HE will tell you!  We must ever be examining ourselves to see if we are really walking with God/Jesus!

Examine yourselves,

whether ye be in the faith;

prove your own selves.

Know ye not your own selves,

how that Jesus Christ is in you,

except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

Remember God knows—no matter what others think they see!

Nevertheless

the foundation of God standeth sure,

having this seal,

The Lord knoweth them

that are his.

And, Let every one

that nameth the name of Christ

depart from iniquity.”   2 Timothy 2:19

Why are we so powerless much of the time?  Why is the church so powerless?  We are often unwilling to pay the price to follow Jesus.  We forget that it costs something to truly follow Jesus—it means I put HIS will before mine—it means that I want HIS work to grow in me—and it means I want to grow IN HIS work!  And we must remember that saying so doesn’t make it so—and James tells us what makes the difference.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren,

let every man be swift to hear,

slow to speak,

slow to wrath:

20 For the wrath of man

worketh not the righteousness of God.

21 Wherefore lay apart

all filthiness

and superfluity of naughtiness,

and receive with meekness

the engrafted word,

which is able to save your souls.

22 But be ye doers of the word,

and not hearers only,

deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word,

and not a doer,

he is like unto a man beholding his natural face

in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself,

and goeth his way,

and straightway forgetteth

what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh

into the perfect law of liberty,

and continueth therein,

he being not a forgetful hearer,

but a doer of the work,

this man shall be blessed in his deed.

26 If any man among you

seem to be religious,

and bridleth not his tongue,

but deceiveth his own heart,

this man’s religion is vain.”   James 1:19-26

James makes the case for holy living by the power of God, by the truth that we find in HIS Word, and by diligent seeking to please God rather than self or the world. Even as Job had friends who had no clue of the providential sovereignty of God, yet he stood fast to his own integrity and reliance upon the faithfulness of God.  Job knew that he would maintain his integrity before GOD not man!

I will maintain mine own ways

before him.

16 He also shall be my salvation

Are you standing with Job before God, or is your focus on the opinions of self and others?  Are you claiming something that you don’t possess, or are you learning to depend on Jesus more and more?  Is your house built on the rock or the sand?  It’s a simple childlike example that Jesus gave, but it is the import of the eternal destiny of man.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it;

but whosoever shall lose his life

for my sake and the gospel’s,

the same shall save it.

36 For what shall it profit a man,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

37 Or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?

38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me

and of my words

in this adulterous

and sinful generation;

of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed,

when he cometh in the glory

of his Father

with the holy angels.”  Mark 8:35-38

And in closing Jesus makes a most profound declaration that I pray will reach your heart and mine.  May we “examine ourselves”!  I know this is a lengthy passage but one I ask you to ponder this week and ask God to open your eyes to see its truth.

Enter ye in at the strait gate:

for wide is the gate,

and broad is the way,

that leadeth to destruction,

and many there be

which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate,

and narrow is the way,

which leadeth unto life,

and few there be

that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets,

which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits.

Do men gather grapes of thorns,

or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree

bringeth forth good fruit;

but a corrupt tree

bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree

cannot bring forth evil fruit,

neither can a corrupt tree

bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit

is hewn down,

and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits

ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me,

Lord, Lord,

shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;

but he that doeth the will of my Father

which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day,

Lord, Lord,

have we not prophesied in thy name?

and in thy name have cast out devils?

and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them,

I never knew you:

depart from me,

ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever

heareth these sayings of mine,

and doeth them,

I will liken him unto a wise man,

which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell not:

for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that

heareth these sayings of mine,

and doeth them not,

shall be likened unto a foolish man,

which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell:

and great was the fall of it.”               Matthew 7:13-27

Amen and Amen!!!