What Are You Sitting On??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #620

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #620      What Are You Sitting On???

 

I’d like to take some time today to call each of us to examine ourselves to see what we are counting on.  What foundation have you laid for your life.  As an old adage says, “Every pot sits on its own bottom!”  I’ve often heard it said that, “There are no grandchildren in heaven”—simply meaning each individual must be born again themselves, you won’t get in on mother’s or grandmother’s coattails!  We can’t count on someone else to get us to heaven.  John chapter one tells us there is only one way to God/heaven and that’s to become “sons of God” by being born again!

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.”  John 1:11-13

The main thing I want us to ponder today is, what have you/I done with Jesus?  Are you resting on HIS foundation—the foundation of the sacrifice of His death, burial, and resurrection for sin—or are you sitting on sinking sand? (See 1 Cor 15:1-6)

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 7:24-27

We often miss the import of this precious passage that Jesus taught, and write it off to a cute little children’s song; but this is the import of life—what have you done with Jesus.  Have you heard His Word and rejected it, and built on the sinking sand?  The parable here implies that both houses looked alike on the outside, but the foundation will tell the tale.  We can fool other people, we can fool our friends, we can even fool our parents, you may even be fooling yourself—but you can’t fool God!  And the foundation will reveal itself when the trials come—the storms of life—and they will come!  Jesus doesn’t say “if they come”—but “when they come”!

So, the question we need to consider today can make the difference between life and death; sinking or standing; knowing Jesus and walking in His strength and power, or your own.  The choice is yours but choose wisely there is a test!  And there is a storm on the way!   What are you standing/sitting on?  I pray that you are standing on the Rock of Ages—Jesus!

Amen and Amen!!!

The Lord IS Still My Shepherd Bible Ballistics: BBs #619

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #619–Because The Lord is still MY Shepherd–even in hard times!!!   A Repost of BBs #245

Bible Ballistics: BBs #245 My Personal Amplified Psalm 23!

This has been on my heart for several days and I’d just like to share it with you, for I know that many of you are going through trials and difficulties, as we all do from time to time. And as the Lord’s return approaches, they are intensifying, so I felt one of my favorite Psalms would be in order, with a twist from my own personal perspective. The Psalm will be in our usual green, my ‘amplification’ in black.

I pray that as I write this, it will meet your needs wherever you are, physically, spiritually, emotionally or in your familial situations. Look up, walk forward and press on with Jesus.

The Lord

King of Kings–

Lord of Lords–

Creator and sustainer of the universe–

Lover of my soul–

The “ONLY” way–

The “ONLY” truth—

The “ONLY” life, blood bought at Calvary—

And because of Calvary the victor over death—

is my shepherd;

He belongs to me, He is MY shepherd—

Because I belong to Him through the cross—

 As He gave HIS life’s blood for the sheep—

My keeper—

My guard—

My teacher—

My protector—

My dearest friend–

I shall not want.

Because my God is watching over me—

He knows my needs before I do—

My heart is set on Him

If it pleases my Shepherd, it pleases me—

Because He “loves” me—

I can trust Him and His tender care—

I can trust HIS perfect will in all things–

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

He provides for my sustenance—

When I follow Him, all is well with my soul—

 His pastures (like His will) provide the best care—

In His pastures I can rest my weary soul–

he leadeth me beside the still waters.

His water is still so I can drink to the full—

His still waters will never overwhelm me—

His waters will never drag me down in the mire—

His waters are still for my nourishment–

my safety—

my security– 

He restoreth my soul:

My shepherd knows my soul need restoring—

He leads me to quiet places even in the storm—

His can restore simply by HIS presence—

If we’ll but seek Him—

If we’ll but listen—

 If we’ll but rest in Him—

 If we’ll but trust and believe—

 He’ll never send us out powerless–

He’ll never send us out unprotected—

he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

My shepherd leads my every step if I’ll go—

 My shepherd knows the way before me—

My shepherd gives me a lamp for my feet—

My shepherd gives me a light for my path—

My shepherd provides for my way at Calvary—

 His blood imparts His righteousness to me—

 I can walk in those paths because HE lives

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

And we all will die physically—

But with my shepherd death is only a door—

A door that leads to “LIFE” for eternity with HIM

And because of that—

I will fear no evil:

Because I belong to the Sovereign Lord of ALL—

Because the “joy of the Lord” is my strength—

Because I have “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”- 

for thou art with me;

Just as He promised,

to never leave me—

to never forsake me—

              The indwelling Holy Spirit is in me—

He has come in to dine with me—

I can dine with Him regardless of time or place—

thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.   

       He is conforming me into the image of the SON

       Whether in reproof or instruction He is there—

       He is working all things for my good—

       As HE conforms me to the image of Jesus—

       So I can take comfort in the discipline of God

              Whether it’s instruction or correction—

              It will bring comfort to my soul–             

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

When others may come against me, God knows—

God wants my responses to reflect HIS glory—

       God is weaving me into a tapestry of holiness—

       He IS doing HIS work IN me, HIS child—

       He often does His best work under duress—

       I can trust to HIS ways, public and private– 

thou anointest my head with oil;  

My shepherd will reveal that I am His—

       He will verify my work for HIM

       He will identify me as HIS own—

       He will welcome me home, my real home—

       And because of ALL HE IS…..

my cup runneth over.

I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude

       The abundance of my soul bursts with love

       His love that HE place within me—

       My fullness of joy affects everything around me—

       To lead others to know my wonderful Shepherd—

       And the results are always in HIS hands.

And the results of knowing and following my dear Shepherd are incomparable:

Surely goodness and mercy

shall follow me all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

for ever.  Psalm 23

May you ever bask in the joy of this Shepherd who loves you and laid down His life for you? If you know Him, trust Him with it all—HE cares. If you don’t know Him, I pray that you will call on Him to today, in repentance and faith, believing that His perfect life sacrificed for you is sufficient to forgive and cleanse you of all sin. God bless your journey to HIM and with HIM! The choice is still yours.

Why Is Violence Violent??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 21

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 21  Why Is Violence Violent???

 

What is violence?  We usually connect it with crime, and that is a suitable use of the word, but I think it goes beyond that, for it goes to the heart of man; and our culture is drowning trying to assign it to other things.  Most of you know by now, that my daughter was murdered recently, and just last week there was a conference held to discuss and try to avert the tide of violent crimes in a nearby city, particularly violence in the ‘domestic’ arena of our culture; and I’d like to address that issue today.  There are several definitions to “violent/violence”:

Violence: swift and intense force…

…rough or injurious physical force, action or treatment…

…damage through distortion or unwarranted alteration

And I believe the most apropos for our day—

…rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language… 

The key here being “immoderate vehemence”–

Immoderate:  not moderate….  Exceeding just or reasonable limits; excessive; extreme…without bounds.

Violence is “violent” because it is the result of abandoning God’s Word, His ways, and His “bounds”!  Rather than peacefulness and moderation (which used to be taught as virtues to be pursued but are now ridiculed as unnecessary and restrictive) we have turned loose a culture with no moorings of reason at all, where hate is rampant, with or without warrant.  We have created a mindset of entitlement, which has bred at least two generations expecting to be fed, pampered, coddled, and entertained at any cost, with no regard to the affect it may have on others—even if they have to steal, kill and destroy!  That sounds familiar—there is an enemy to our life and souls!

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

Just because it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duke—it may not be a “duck”; but you may need to “duck” for cover in Jesus!

There is a way that seemeth right

unto a man,

but the end thereof

are the ways of death.”  Proverbs 16:25

Jesus referred to this very thing in His sermon on the Mount.

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.”   Matthew 7:13-20

Jesus warns us to beware of the ‘actions’ or fruit of the people around us, for there is that “way that seemeth right” that isn’t!  We live in a world gone crazy with listening to pretty talk that is in total opposition to God’s Word and God’s ways!  Yet it feels good, it appeases the flesh, and it leads to hell!  I know I quote this passage often, but it is an important message that we need to hear, for we live in the ‘evil day’!  What/who are you listening to?

See then

that ye walk circumspectly,

not as fools,

but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time,

because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise,

but understanding

what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine,

wherein is excess;

but be filled

with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves

in psalms

and hymns

and spiritual songs,

singing

and making melody

in your heart

to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks

always

for all things

unto God

and the Father

in the name

of our Lord Jesus Christ;

21 Submitting yourselves

one to another

in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5:15-21

We must make a choice!  We must decide what “government” we will align ourselves with—The God who Reigns–or the god of this world?  Have you allowed the light of God to shine in your heart or are you blinded by the enemy of your soul?

Therefore seeing we have this ministry,

as we have received mercy,

we faint not;

2 But have renounced

the hidden things of dishonesty,

not walking in craftiness,

nor handling the word of God deceitfully;

but by manifestation of the truth

commending ourselves to every man’s conscience

in the sight of God.

3 But if our gospel be hid,

it is hid to them

that are lost:

4 In whom the god of this world

hath blinded the minds

of them which believe not,

lest the light of the glorious gospel

of Christ,

who is the image of God,

should shine unto them.

5 For we preach not ourselves,

but Christ Jesus the Lord;

and ourselves

your servants

for Jesus’ sake.

6 For God,

who commanded the light

to shine out of darkness,

hath shined in our hearts,

to give the light

of the knowledge

of the glory of God

in the face of Jesus Christ.”                        2 Corinthians 4:1-6

Are you on the throne of your own heart or have you bowed before the Cross of Jesus Christ to receive His forgiveness and salvation—receiving HIS peace in place of the violence of the world?

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:”   Colossians 1:12-14

It’s all about Jesus—not about you/me!  For you see we wrestle not against other people but against the forces of evil in this world.  And until we recognize that God is still God, and the rules haven’t changed—It’s why Jesus came–we will flounder without hope.

For unto us a child is born,

unto us a son is given:

and the government

shall be upon his shoulder:

and his name shall be called

Wonderful, Counsellor,

The mighty God,

The everlasting Father,

The Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase

of his government

and peace

there shall be no end,

upon the throne of David,

and upon his kingdom,

to order it,

and to establish it

with judgment

and with justice

from henceforth

 even for ever.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts

will perform this.”  Isaiah 9:6-7

Will you let Jesus rule in your heart; be at home in your heart or will you continue to pursue your own way and find yourself among the ‘violent’ ones who reject God.  Jesus has given His all—His own blood for our salvation—for you and me!  What have you done with His gift?  If you have received His salvation, does your life reflect His glory or the glory of yourself and the world?  We are to bow before Him and have His mind of holiness and servanthood on our lives.  Even though we live in a culture of selfishness and greed; a culture of me, me, me—”I will have my own way, and I don’t care what God says”!  How about you?  Do you know God and His Word?  God IS our only hope, and He enables us to walk in His Spirit and His Way, rather than the “way that seemeth” right (for now)!

Let this mind be in you,

which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God,

thought it not robbery

to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation,

and took upon him the form of a servant,

and was made in the likeness of men:

8 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.

12 Wherefore, my beloved,

as ye have always obeyed,

not as in my presence only,

but now much more in my absence,

work out your own salvation

with fear

and trembling.”  Philippians 2:5-12

So, my question for us today is, “Who’s in control of your heart and life?”  Are you living in excess and sin, or moderation by The Spirit of Christ?  Is your life so full of the world that there is no room for Jesus?  Or will you bow before Him as Lord of All?  Do you know God and His Word or are you walking your own way?  Will you get into God’s Word so that you will know what God says?  Or will you keep cussing, fussing, drinking and holding onto your ‘stinkin’ thinkin’?  The choice is yours, but choose wisely, there is a test—and I can’t help but think that it is nearer than we can even imaging.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God,

a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,

rightly dividing

the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15

All scripture

is given by inspiration

of God,

and is profitable

for doctrine,

for reproof,

for correction,

for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God

may be perfect,

throughly furnished

unto all good works.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17

And one last thing, remember that what you’re living is teaching more about life to your children than anything you can say, or any instruction that you can give them—as an old adage says, “What the parents do in moderation, the children will do in excess!”  If you live a life that marginalizes God, your children are likely to exclude Him totally and miss heaven all together.  That is the ultimate ‘violence’!   God gave Moses the perfect plan in Deuteronomy 6, I’ll share just a small portion of verses with you, and I recommend that you take some time to read and study the whole chapter.

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.

8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

9 And thou shalt write them

upon the posts of thy house,

and on thy gates……

…20 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:”  Portions of Deuteronomy 6:5-21

If we’ll follow God truly and faithfully—others will ask why!  How about you—will you follow Him?  I pray that you will choose HIM!  What is your life telling others, especially your children?  Do they see Jesus or the world?

Amen and Amen!!!

An Amazing Oxymoron??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #618

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #618     An Amazing Oxymoron???

 

One of my favorite gospel hymns is “Amazing Grace” by John Newton, and while it is “old”, like me, it resounds with truth and hope; and yet this week as I was listening to it for the ‘umpty-dozeneth’ time, it struck me that this powerful song has a most amazing oxymoron, and it just gripped my heart and I’d like to share a few thoughts with you this morning that may speak to you as well.

I’d like to share the second verse with you and delve into its depths.

T’was Grace

that taught my heart to fear

And Grace,

my fears relieved

How precious did

that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

Have you ever recognized that it truly is God’s grace that brings us to “fear”—to see our sin and its consequence?  That’s Bible and it’ll preach!

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

God is the One who convicts of sin, and without seeing our sin—without that “Grace that taught my heart to fear”, we have no need for The Savior, Jesus Christ The Lord!  But praise God He sent Jesus to be our substitutionary, atoning, sacrifice!  And it is the Holy Spirit of God who brings that conviction of sin to our hearts, without which we could never be born again into Jesus!

Nevertheless I tell you the truth;

It is expedient for you that I go away:

for if I go not away,

the Comforter will not come unto you;

but if I depart,

I will send him unto you.

8 And when he is come,

he will

reprove the world of sin,

and of righteousness,

and of judgment:

9 Of sin,

because they believe not on me;

10 Of righteousness,

because I go to my Father,

and ye see me no more;

11 Of judgment,

because the prince of this world

is judged.”  John 16:7-11

That very Spirit whom Jesus promised to send, is the One who opens our eyes to see our own sin, but the oxymoron is that HE is also the ONE who “my fears relieved”!  And that’s why we can rejoice and sing:

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed”!

And not only from that first moment but in every moment since, and in every moment that God grants me to serve Him in this world!  That my friends, is truly “Amazing Grace”!  God’s grace, and He is holding out that very grace to you today, if you don’t know Him yet.  And if you know HIM and are in a hard place, it is that same grace that will carry you through!  God is continually at work through that wonderful grace of Jesus, to not only save us unto Himself, but to conform us into HIS very image—bringing glory to God and accomplishing His purpose in our every step!

For of him,

and through him,

and to him,

are all things:

to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”   Romans 11:36

And another of my favorite passages that I pray will bring you hope and encouragement today!

For by grace

are ye saved

through faith; and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created

in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God hath before ordained

that we should walk

in them.”   Ephesians 2:8-10

And let me close with this thought; many in recent days have made comment regarding my ‘strong faith’, and I appreciate that, but we must understand and know that it’s not “my” faith that is the issue—the issue is The One in whom “my” faith is placed!  It’s the Amazing Savior who saved me many long years ago—The One who has picked me up time and time again.  The One who has walked with me when I was ‘up’, and The One who has walked with me when I was ‘down’!  The One who died that I might have “abundant life”.  And that “abundant life” is my hope, and confidence from and in The One, Jesus, to whom I belong.  And you can have that same life, faith, peace and grace if you will but call out to HIM and receive HIS peace!

Peace I leave

with you,

my peace I give

unto you:

not as the world giveth,

give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled,

neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:26                                                 (Read the whole chapter)

So, I pray that God will speak to your heart that amazing, wonderful grace that Jesus died and rose again to provide for all who will come to Him in repentance and faith.  You are loved and prayed for, and that “Amazing Grace” will deliver you too!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

My Shepherd–My Lord!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #617

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #617     My Shepherd –My Lord!!!

I’d like to share a repost of BBs #389 with you today, as it speaks  the truth of what my heart is standing in today!

Bible Ballistics: BBs  #389   Safe In Your Storm???

When thou passest through the waters,

I will be with thee;

and through the rivers,

they shall not overflow thee:

when thou walkest through the fire,

thou shalt not be burned;

neither shall the flame kindle

upon thee.”  Isaiah 42:2

God never promised that we wouldn’t encounter storms!  But He does promise that He will be with us when we face stormy situations.  He promises to be with us, and Psalmist, David understood who His God was, is and ever shall be:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”   Psalm 23:1

Like David, we can come to know God as the faithful Shepherd, Redeemer and Deliverer, for God never says, “oops”, and He is never caught off guard!  Instead He is our “all in all”, in any and every situation.  (See Colossians 3:11)

Trust in the LORD

with all thine heart;

and lean not

unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways

acknowledge him,

and he shall direct

thy paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

We must simply (though it’s not ‘easy’) trust in the Lord God Almighty and His Son Jesus to direct our steps!!!  I have learned through the years, that when we will trust and obey the clear directions of God, HE absolutely will direct our paths—yet we so often choose to go ‘our own’ way!  But when we choose to walk in His ways, He promises that He will never leave us to walk HIS path alone!

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be contentwith such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee,

nor forsake thee.

6 So that we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not fear

what man shall do unto me.”   Hebrews 13:5-6

He has never failed me, and He never will, for He is The God Most High, who cannot lie, and keeps His ‘Word’, all of it!  I’d like to share the first verses of a few of the Psalms from 23-35 (Read them all for yourself!), they all speak to the faithfulness of The God who saves and delivers!  Here are a few for you to ponder today, no matter the storm that you may be facing!!!

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1

Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.” Psalm 25:1

Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.”  Psalm 26:1

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalm 27:1

True  then—still true today!!!  Amen and Amen!!!