Am I Listening??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #542

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #542   Am I Listening???

 

The fear of the LORD

is the beginning of knowledge:

but fools

despise wisdom and instruction.

8 My son,

hear the instruction of thy father,

and forsake not

the law of thy mother:

9 For they shall be an ornament of grace

unto thy head,

and chains

about thy neck.”  Proverbs 1:7-9

Proverbs is one of the books of ‘poetry’ and is also referred to as ‘wisdom’ literature; and here we see wisdom proclaimed in the first chapter. The question is, ‘will we listen and heed the message’?  Or will we neglect truth to our own detriment?  I pray that today we will determine to listen to God’s voice (via His Spirit) and refuse the other voices that clamor for our time, attention and devotion!

Come, ye children,

hearken unto me:

I will teach you

the fear of the LORD.”  Psalm 34:11

We live in a “self-sufficient” culture—I can take care of myself!  I can make my own way!  I can pull myself up by my own ‘boot straps’: but the point is, we are not able to care for ourselves, and we certainly can’t save ourselves—only Jesus can do that for those who come to HIM His way!  Yet we must have ears to hear and a heart willing to seek God and hear His direction.

No man can come to me,

except the Father

which hath sent me

draw him:

and I will raise him up

at the last day.”  John 6:44

Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”   John 14:6

God has made provision for our salvation, but we must hear His voice, and receive His grace, through faith in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection “for our sin”!  And when we come to Jesus, He will transform our lives and impart to us His indwelling Holy Spirit to guide and direct our steps—and we must never quench His work in our hearts and lives.  Yet we often do, by our willful neglect of our relationship with HIM!  I pray that this will remind us to draw near to HIM, that we might come to know Him intimately and grow in our confidence that HE IS ever working to make me/you more like Jesus.

And he that searcheth the hearts

knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,

because he maketh intercession

for the saints

according to the will of God.

28 And we knowthat all things

work together for good

to them that love God,

to them who are the called

according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow,

he also did predestinate

to be conformed

 to the image of his Son,

that he might be the firstborn

among many brethren.”  Romans 8:27-29

Jesus The Son, God The Father, and the precious Holy Spirit are ever at work in us—it’s our job to yield to His work in us.  May we ever turn our ears, our hearts and our minds to hear and know all that Jesus has called and will equip us to be!  He is ever faithful!

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

We have a Father who loves us, A Savior and Redeemer who loves us and gave Himself for us!  Are you hearing from HIM?  To whom and what are you yielding?  Give it all to Jesus, He’s worthy of our trust, may we say with Paul:

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.

Amen!!!

You Are Teaching!!!: Bible Ballistics: BBs #541

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #541   You Are Teaching!!!

 

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God

with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy might.

6 And these words,

which I command thee this day,

shall be in thine heart:

7 And thou shalt teach them diligently

unto thy children,

and shalt talk of them

when thou sittest in thine house,

and when thou walkest by the way,

and when thou liest down,

and when thou risest up.”  Deuteronomy 6:5-7

I like to call this whole chapter the guide to ‘diligent, determined, directional parenting’.  Something that we are in desperate need of today!  But I want to take a bit of a spin on this ‘teaching’ and remind us that even when we aren’t “diligent, determined, or directional” in our parenting—in fact, in our lives, we are still teaching.  We are teaching almost every day of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not; and that is true for you, for me, for every person in this world. We are teaching every day—whether we say a word or not!

Our actions teach!  God told Moses to make this clear to the people of Israel; that they were to understand the priority and import of living as a ‘teacher’!  He began by telling them that “they” had to be right with God first—we can only share what we have and know.  Paul also made this clear to the Corinthians in his first letter to the church there.

Moreover, brethren,

I declare unto you the gospel

 which I preached unto you,

which also ye have received,

and wherein ye stand;

if ye keep in memory what

I preached unto you,

 unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all

that which I also received,

how that Christ died for our sins

according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried,

and that he rose again the third day

according to the scriptures:”  1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Paul makes it clear that we can only share that which we ourselves have “received” (“by grace…. through faith”).  The same message that Moses was sharing with Israel, for the principle is universal—you can’t use, give or share what you don’t have.  We can only share with others what we possess and know ourselves! Christianity isn’t a ‘religion’, it’s a relationship with the Only Son of God, who paid the price for our sin—a gift we can receive from God; and while the Old Testament saints were saved by looking forward to “HIS” saving work, we are saved by looking back to the completed work of Christ Jesus on the cross.  And when we follow Him faithfully, others will see Jesus in us.  The question is, “Are we leading/teaching others the truth of the cross?”  Or are we so deceived and misguided that we are leading/teaching others down the wrong road to miss Jesus?

Moses finished his discourse on the responsibility to teach those who are in our circle of influence by telling us that ‘if we live it, they will see and question why we do what do’?  Then we will have opportunity to share what God is “doing” in our lives—not just in the distant past, but right now!

And when thy son asketh thee

in time to come, saying,

What mean the testimonies,

and the statutes,

and the judgments,

which the LORD our God

hath commanded you?

21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son,

We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt;

and the LORD brought us out

of Egypt

with a mighty hand:”    Deuteronomy 6:20-21

So, I’d like us to consider this: “Is my life leading/teaching others the way to the Master”?  Or am I letting them go to hell in a handbasket, because I am not living what I profess to possess?  Am I HIS?  Do I love HIM?  Is my life teaching godly principles with every action and word? Am I sitting/walking/sleeping in places I shouldn’t be?  Am I failing those around me?  Have we missed the first principle? We need to fix our own heart first:

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God

with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy might.

6 And these words,

which I command thee this day,

shall be in thine heart:

Jesus says it best:

O generation of vipers,

how can ye,

being evil,

speak good things?

for out of the abundance of the heart

 the mouth speaketh.”   Matthew 12:34. Amen!

Jesus In Genesis Pt. 1!!! Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No. 05

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No.05    Jesus In Genesis Pt.1!!!

 

I’d like us to spend the next few weeks considering the great creator that we serve. So many today think that God isn’t creator, much less Jesus, so I think it would be worth our while to spend some time considering what The Word says about our creator.

In the beginning

God created

the heaven

and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void;

and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God

moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said,

Let there be light:

and there was light.”  Genesis 1:1-3

While I believe in the literal view of God’s creation account as recorded in the book of Genesis, I know that some of you may not concur, I simply ask you to consider these things because they are more import than most today understand.  If God didn’t create the earth, then what hope do we have—if there is no God who created us, then there is no need for a Savior! If God didn’t create the world by HIS ‘Word’ then what do we have to stand on?  For if there is no creator, then the account recorded in Genesis is unreliable—there is no Adam and Eve.  If there is no Adam and Eve, then there is no sin.  If there is no sin—then there is no lust, sin, death or hell; and we have no need for a Redeemer!!!  And redemption is The Work that God sent Jesus to accomplish!  Jesus is the redeemer of the world and it all started with God, even before the beginning. We must know truth!

Father, I will that they also,

whom thou hast given me,

be with me

where I am;

that they may behold my glory,

which thou hast given me:

for thou lovedst me

before the foundation of the world.

25 O righteous Father,

the world hath not known thee:

 but I have known thee,

and these have known

that thou hast sent me.”  John 17:24-25

Jesus was with the Father before the “foundation of the world”, yet that’s not all The Word says about creation!

Blessed be the God and Father

of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who hath blessed us

with all spiritual blessings

in heavenly places

in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us

in him

before the foundation of the world,

that we should be holy

and without blame

before him in love:”    Ephesians 1:3-4

Peter also refers to this doctrine of the pre-foundation plan of God!

Forasmuch as ye know

that ye were not redeemed

with corruptible things,

as silver and gold,

from your vain conversation

received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ,

 as of a lamb without blemish

and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained

before the foundation of the world,

but was manifest in these last times

for you,

21 Who by him do believe

in God,

that raised him up from the dead,

and gave him glory;

that your faith and hope

might be in God.”   1 Peter 1:18-21

Jesus gave His life that we might be saved.  He came to save and transform men, women, boys and girls into children of God.  He changes us from lost sinners into redeemed and transformed saints.  All by God’s design—which He set in motion even before He created man–knowing that we would sin, yet He created us anyway (a choice, which by the way, is far from what we would have done!)!  He created us in His own image knowing that we would choose sin, and Jesus would have to give His life for ours, He would be the very lamb who came to die for you and me, to redeem us “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot”!  He loved us then, and He loves us now, calling us to Himself.

He was in the world,

and the world was made by him,     

and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own,

and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh,

and dwelt among us,

(and we beheld his glory,

the glory as of the only begotten

of the Father,)

full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him,

and cried, saying,

This was he

of whom I spake,

He that cometh after me

 is preferred before me:

for he was before me.”   John 1:10-15

Jesus pre-existed John, even though John was conceived 6 months before Jesus—John is telling us that Jesus is deity.  He IS God.  And while many claim that Jesus never said that, the truth is HE did, more than once.

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 10:29-30

The woman saith unto him,

I know that Messias cometh,

which is called Christ:

when he is come,

he will tell us all things.

26 Jesus saith unto her,

I that speak unto thee am he.”   John 4:25-26

While poems claim that only God can create particular things (a tree, a bird…etc.), God is the creator and sustainer of all things, but not without the Son. While the Son isn’t mentioned in Genesis 1 by name, He was/is there.

And God said,

Let us make man

in our image,

after our likeness:

and let them have dominion

over the fish of the sea,

and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle,

and over all the earth,

and 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.” Genesis 1:26-27 

But you might ask, “How do we know that Jesus was there?”  Well, as the children’s song says, “The Bible tells me so!” (from ‘Jesus Loves Me”, written by Anna Bartlett Warner over 100 years ago!). So, let’s dig in to some passages that help answer that question, and then next week we’ll dig deeper.  We’ll start with John’s beautiful passage that clearly points to the ‘creator’ Jesus.

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

2 The same was

in the beginning

with God.

3 All things were made by him;

and without him

was not any thing made

that was made.

4 In him was life;

and the life

was the light of men.

5 And the light

shineth in darkness;

and the darkness

comprehended it not.”  John 1:1-5

John makes it clear that Jesus IS creator, and we will look next week at the fact that God created by “speaking” things into creation, and Jesus is “The Word”!  But let’s examine even more Biblical evidence.

God, who at sundry times

and in divers manners

spake in time past

unto the fathers

by the prophets,

2 Hath in these last days

spoken unto us

by his Son,

whom he hath appointed heir

of all things,

by whom also

he made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness of his glory,

and the express image of his person,

and upholding all things

by the word of his power,

when he had by himself

 purged our sins,

sat down on the right hand

of the Majesty on high;”   Hebrews 1:1-3

Did you get that? God made the worlds by HIM, Jesus!  And He is the essence that holds this world together—without Him we would be helpless and hopeless!  It is HIS blood that saves and transforms lives still today.

Giving thanks unto the Father,

which hath made us meet to be partakers

of the inheritance of the saints

in light:

13 Who hath delivered us

from the power of darkness,

and hath translated us

into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

even the forgiveness

of sins:

15 Who is the image of the invisible God,

the firstborn of every creature:

16 For by him

were all things created,

that are in heaven,

and that are in earth,

visible and invisible,

whether they be thrones,

or dominions,

or principalities,

or powers:

all things were created

by him,

and for him:

17 And he is before all things,

and by him all things consist.

18 And he is the head of the body,

the church:

who is the beginning,

 the firstborn from the dead;

that in all things

he might have the preeminence.

19 For it pleased the Father

that in him

should all fulness dwell;

20 And, having made peace

through the blood of his cross,

by him to reconcile

all things unto himself;

by him, I say,

whether they be things

in earth,

or things in heaven.”   Colossians 1:12-20

And to wrap up today, God is not only The Creator of all things physical, but also the spiritual.  Just as John said:

12 But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.

 Born of God by the power of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  He created us and bought us back to Himself by the blood of Jesus.  We can choose to receive the gift of salvation or perish without HIM!

That at that time ye were without Christ,

being aliens

from the commonwealth of Israel,

and strangers

from the covenants of promise,

having no hope,

and without God

in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus

ye who sometimes were far off

are made nigh

by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace,

who hath made both one,

and hath broken down the middle wall

of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh

 the enmity,

even the law of commandments

contained in ordinances;

for to make in himself

of twain

one new man,

so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both

unto God

in one body

by the cross,

having slain the enmity

thereby:

17 And came and preached peace

to you which were afar off,

and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both

have access by one Spirit

unto the Father.

19 Now therefore ye are no more

strangers

and foreigners,

but fellowcitizens

with the saints,

and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation

of the apostles

and prophets,

Jesus Christ himself

being the chief corner stone;”    Ephesians 2:12-20

Is HE your creator?  Is HE your Lord and Savior?  He came that you and I might have life—eternal life—abundant life—God’s life in us (that part which died when Adam and Eve sinned!).  And here are a few passages that help us understand what that means.

And this is life eternal,

that they might know thee

the only true God,

and Jesus Christ,

whom thou hast sent.”   John 17:3

And this is the promise

that he hath promised us,

even eternal life.”  1 John 2:25

And this is the record,

that God

hath given to us

eternal life,

and this life

is in his Son.

12 He that hath the Son

hath life;

and he that hath not the Son of God

hath not life.”  1 John 5:11-12

Do you know the “life” of the “creator”?  I pray that you do!

Amen and Amen!!!  We’ll continue next week, Lord willing!

Praise IS Contagious!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #540

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #540   Praise Is Contagious!!!

 

Make a joyful noise

unto the LORD,

all ye lands.

2 Serve the LORD

with gladness:

come before his presence

with singing.

3 Know ye that the LORD

he is God:

 it is he that hath made us,

and not we ourselves;

we are his people,

and the sheep

of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates

with thanksgiving,

and into his courts

with praise:

be thankful

unto him,

and bless

his name.

 5 For the LORD

is good;

his mercy is everlasting;

and his truth endureth

 to all generations.  Psalm 100

Praise is so important that Psalm 66 has the same beginning—repetition always indicates the import of a topic!  Praise helps to turn the gray skies to blue and can restore the lonely and sad heart to joy!  Don’t let your circumstances steal your joy—God is still working on our behalf and HE Is worthy of our continual praise.

Make a joyful noise

unto God,

all ye lands:

2 Sing forth the honour

of his name:

make his praise

glorious.

3 Say unto God,

How terrible art thou

in thy works!

through the greatness

of thy power

shall thine enemies submit

themselves unto thee.

4 All the earth

shall worship

thee,

and shall sing

unto thee;

they shall sing

to thy name. Selah.”  Psalm 66:1-4

And remember the question isn’t, “Will you bow?”; but “When will you bow?”!  Will you bow before Him as Lord and Savior now, or then as your judge?  Will you praise HIM now or be speechless before Him then?  The choice is yours but remember there is a test!

And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient

unto death,

even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name

which is above every name:

10 That at the name

of Jesus

every knee should bow,

of things in heaven,

and things in earth,

and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.”   Philippians 2:8-11

Praying that your day will be full of praising and joy!!!  Our God still Reigns, and Jesus is coming soon!

Amen and Amen.

 

 

Help Or Relief??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #539

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #539   Help Or Relief???

 

Several years ago, I heard a pastor share about people who came to him for counsel; what he said was so true.  He said that “while some people truly come for help, most people only come for relief”, and it’s as true today as it was the first time I heard it.  Many people today simply want ‘relief’ from their present circumstances—they don’t want to change themselves, or find out what God has for them, or what scripture says about the life of a believer and follower of Jesus, or how we are to live and interact with those around us.  Yet God is ever ready to help those who will come to Him desiring Him and His truth, and not just seeking His blessings.

This people draweth nigh unto me

with their mouth,

and honoureth me with their lips;

but their heart is far from me.”   Matthew 15:8

God wants us to know Him, and He will draw near to us when we draw near to Him.  It’s why Jesus came—that we might know Him and be one with God through The Son—Jesus Christ our Lord!  As Jesus prayed just before He faced the cross for you and me:

And now I am no more in the world,

but these are in the world,

and I come to thee. Holy Father,

keep through thine own name

those whom thou hast given me,

that they may be one,

as we are……

20 Neither pray I for these alone,

 but for them also which shall believe

on me

through their word;

21 That they all may be one;

as thou, Father, art in me,

and I in thee,

that they also may be one

in us:

that the world may believe

that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me

I have given them;

that they may be one,

even as we are one:

23 I in them,

and thou in me,

that they may be made perfect

in one;

and that the world may know

that thou hast sent me,

and hast loved them,

as thou hast loved me.”    John 17:11 & 20-23

Oh, to be walking in oneness with my Lord!  It is the prayer of my heart for myself and for you. It’s not an easy walk—but it is a joyous one.  And as we submit to our Father and His Son Jesus, He will lead and direct our every step.

But he giveth more grace.

Wherefore he saith,

God resisteth the proud,

but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore

to God.

Resist the devil,

and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God,

and he will draw nigh to you.

Cleanse your hands,

ye sinners;

and purifyyour hearts,

ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted,

and mourn,

and weep:

let your laughter

be turned to mourning,

and your joy

to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves

in the sight of the Lord,

and he shall lift you up.”   James 4:6-10

As long as we are content in our sin, and have justified it in our own minds, we will never seek God’s face!  This is why James was/is calling us to be “afflicted”—over our sin; that rather than gloat in our “liberty” we are to weep over our hard hearts and “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord”!  And while that is easy to say, it is not an easy thing to accomplish, for we are growing used to the dark, rather than basking in HIS light!  The Apostle John has much to say about this in his first letter (spend some time in 1 John to see what he says about “the light”)!  Even as the author of Hebrews reminds us—we have One who is ever interceding for us!  Thank YOU, Jesus!  We can truly find “help” in Him, not just relief for a moment!

God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help

in trouble.

2 Therefore will not we fear,

though the earth

be removed,

 and though the mountains

be carried into the midst of the sea;

3 Though the waters thereof

roar and be troubled,

though the mountains shake

with the swelling thereof. Selah.”    Psalm 46:1-3

We truly can find help in our Lord Jesus–always!

Wherefore he is able also to save them

to the uttermost

that come unto God

by him,

 seeing he ever liveth

to make intercession for them.”    Hebrews 7:25

And because HE is “able also to save”, we don’t have to fear our circumstances, and continually be seeking ‘relief’, but we can “stand fast in the evil day”!

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”    Psalm 56:3

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power,

and of love,

and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

May you find help today in HIS power….and love…and… …sound mind”!  And sound mind simply means right thinking!  As Paul said to the Philippians:

And the peace of God,

which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts

and minds

through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren,

whatsoever things are true,

whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just,

whatsoever things are pure,

whatsoever things are lovely,

whatsoever things are of good report;

if there be any virtue,

and if there be any praise,

think on these things.”    Philippians 4:7-8

Amen and Amen—“think on these things”!