Forgetting Our Manners??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #532

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #532   Forgetting Our Manners???

 

I hope you had a pleasant Valentine’s Day—that you got to spend time with the people in your life, whether by phone, or text or in person.  Time with the people we love is a gift from God, and yet we often forget to thank God for our life, our blessings, for the greatest Valentine (testament to love), Jesus, as well as others!!!

I pray that we will never forget our debt of gratitude to others, especially our Lord! He has given so much, not only ‘to’ us, but ‘for’ us!

And you hath he quickened,

who were deadin trespasses and sins;”    Ephesians 2:1

He has given us life, His life—new life IN Jesus.

Jesus answered and said unto her,

If thou knewest the gift of God,

and who it is that saith to thee,

Give me to drink;

thou wouldest have asked of him,

and he would have given thee

living water……

13 Jesus answered and said unto her,

Whosoever drinketh of this water

shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water

that I shall give him

shall never thirst;

but the water

that I shall give him

shall be in him a well of water

springing up

into everlasting life.    John 4:10, 13-14

I love this picture of ever-springing water that wells up, imparting everlasting life through Jesus!  I’m so grateful for “life”—the life that Jesus gives us—born anew from the deadness of sin.  His life springing up like an artesian well in us! I love the sweet taste of water springing from an artesian well, and in the mountains, you can often see water springing out of the mountain, and people will come and get water from that bubbling spring!  What a treat. But God has given us the greater gift—a living spring —His Son who took on human flesh and blood, who walked among sinners, who revealed God to us, and even more importantly, HE died for our sin on Calvary!  All because HE. loves us!!!  Have you invited Him in!  Have you received that wonderful gift of eternally springing life within you? If you have, won’t you take some time today (every day) to thank Him for this unparalleled gift? Thank YOU, Jesus!!!

For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world through him

might be saved.”  John 3:16-17

Jesus gave His life a sacrifice for sin, that we might live! Will you heed His call and thank Him for the love and grace HE poured out at Calvary?

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:

if any man hear my voice,

and open the door,

I will come in to him,

and will sup with him,

and he with me.”  Revelation 3:20. Amen!!!

To Be Or Not–It Will Show??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #531

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #531   To Be Or Not—It Will Show???

 

Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”  James put it a bit differently as he reminds us of something that I often say, “Saying so, doesn’t make it so!”  Just saying I am a believer must be accompanied by the works of goodness that God has called and equipped us to fulfill.  We aren’t saved by works—not in any way—but we do express our faith by our works.  Like the old question, “What do you get when you squeeze a lemon?”; what seems like the natural answer isn’t always the answer.  While we would expect to get “lemon juice” if we squeeze a lemon, there must be “juice” in the lemon first, or we will get nothing!  Well it’s the same in the life of a Christian!  When we come to Jesus in repentance and faith, HE imparts His Holy Spirit to each one who is born again, and we are that “new creature” in Christ Jesus—created ‘for’ good works—but never ‘by’ good works.

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

Genuine believers are “created in Christ Jesusfor good works, and James reminds us that while we must “be” HIS before we can “do” His work—works which manifest the presence of Christ in us before the world.

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 1:22-26

So, my question this morning is simple!  Are we being doers of the word—or are we “hearers only”? James makes it clear that if all we have is “talk”, we may be “deceiving your own selves”! God, help us examine our own hearts and see what YOU see, then, to align our heart and life to You, Your Word and Your will for “me”!  Being a faithful picture to the world of a vibrant, living faith in Jesus?

Search me, O God..know my heart...”    See Psalm 139:23

Confident Or Cocky??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No. 26

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No.26 Confident Or Cocky???

 

It is important that as believers, we exhibit our confidence before a lost and dying world, yet never with arrogance.  We can have absolute confidence in our Lord, yet we must be on guard against a cocky attitude of heart.

Being confident

of this very thing,

that he

which hath begun a good work

in you

will perform it

until the day of Jesus Christ:”     Philippians 1:6

You see, our confidence is in Jesus, our Lord and Savior, not in ourselves.  There is no place for arrogance, self-righteousness, or selfish pride!  The only thing that we have to be proud of is our LORD—oh how I cling to HIS cross and remember that HE has given me immeasurably more than I could ever earn or deserve. He “giveth more grace” for each day—it’s all about HIM not me—for “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us”!

For the grace of God

that bringeth salvation

hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that,

denying ungodliness

and worldly lusts,

we should live soberly,

righteously,

and godly,

in this present world;

13 Looking for that blessed hope,

and the glorious appearing

of the great God and our Saviour

Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us,

that he might redeem us

from all iniquity,

and purify unto himself

a peculiar people,

 zealous of good works.

15 These things speak,

and exhort,

and rebuke

with all authority.

Let no man despise thee.

3:1 Put them in mind

to be subject to principalities and powers,

to obey magistrates,

to be ready to every good work,

2 To speak evil of no man,

to be no brawlers,

but gentle,

shewing all meekness

unto all men.

 3 For we ourselves also

were sometimes foolish,

disobedient,

deceived,

serving divers

lusts

and pleasures,

living in malice

and envy,

hateful,

and hating one another.

4 But after that the kindness

and love

of God our Saviour

toward man appeared,

5 Not by works of righteousness

which we have done,

but according to his mercy

he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration,

and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6 Which he shed on us

abundantly

through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

7 That being justified by his grace,

we should be made heirs

according to the hope

of eternal life.”  Titus 2:11-3:7

Because God “so loved the world that HE gave”—we can have life, new life in Christ Jesus!  We must never forget that it is of God’s mercy that we are saved.  Even as Jeremiah wrote, after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians, knowing his confidence was anchored in his God, not himself!  After all, it was God who had warned them for some 40 years to repent, with very little response to Jeremiah’s message!

This I recall to my mind,

therefore have I hope.

22 It is of the LORD’S mercies

that we are not consumed,

because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning:

great is thy faithfulness.

24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul;

therefore will I hope in him.

25 The LORD is good unto them

that wait for him,

to the soul that seeketh him.”    Lamentations 3:21-25

There was also a contemporary of Jeremiah’s latter years, who received a message from God for those who would respond—and that message is as true for us today as it was those thousands of years ago.  Have you responded to God’s call?  Have you humbled yourself before Him, and come to know God through His son Jesus?

And such as do wickedly against the covenant

shall he corrupt by flatteries:

but the people that do know their God

shall be strong,

and do exploits.”  Daniel 11:32

And they that be wise

shall shine as the brightness

of the firmament;

and they that turn many to righteousness

as the stars for ever and ever.”  Daniel 12:3

But how can we know God and turn others to righteousness?  There is only ‘One Way’, Jesus, and seeking Him through His Word and through prayer.  And when we draw near to God, and depend upon His grace and power, we can learn to recognize the opportunities that He gives us to share the gospel of the cross.  Even as He gave to Paul, who testified of his total reliance on Jesus blood, and the truth of the “crucified” and risen Lord Jesus!

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

As John shared in his gospel account.

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.”   John 1:12-14

So, as we consider the choices that lay before us this week—may we approach them with humble confidence, yet with boldness as we speak the truth of the Gospel; not swelling with pride and arrogance, or lording it over those we encounter, as if we were better than they, but humbly sharing the truth of the cross.  May we join with Paul in recognizing our own sin and weakness, and follow the Lord  Jesus who calls us—to take up our cross (which means that we are to die to self and live to Him) as we follow Him; yet even that is done by God, His Holy Spirit whom He has given to dwell within every believer, and through His power—that it may of Christ alone.

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

Jesus summed it up in John 15.

Abide in me,

and I in you.

As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye,

except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth

much fruit:

for without me

ye can do nothing.”  John 15:4-5

So, remember that while “I can do all things through Christ”, it is only because “Christ liveth in me!  Confident in HIS love, grace and power—never being cocky in my own power!

Pride goeth before destruction,

and an haughty spirit

before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

Humble yourselves

in the sight of the Lord,

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

Praise Him today!

Great is the LORD,

and greatly to be praised;

and his greatness

is unsearchable.”  Psalm 145:3

Amen and Amen!

They Don’t Play Fair??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #530

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #530    They Don’t Play Fair???

 

Many of us are burdened over the state of our nation—our world, and yet we must remember that our confidence is in The One who actually is in charge! And that is God not man!  Yet it is disheartening as we are vexed at the things that we continually see and hear around us.  We truly are living in an age and time when people are willfully rejecting God, His Word and His way.

Woe unto them

that call evil

good,

and good

evil;

that put darkness

for light,

and light

for darkness;

that put bitter

for sweet,

and sweet

for bitter!

21 Woe unto them that are wise

in their own eyes,

and prudent

in their own sight!”  Isaiah 5:20-21 

We must be diligent to keep our eyes on Jesus and judge righteous judgment; even though many say that we are “not” to judge at all, scripture calls us to judge righteously and not for self-promotion, or by just what we think we see!

Judge not

according to the appearance,

but judge

righteous judgment.”   John 7:24

Yet as we discern and judge what’s going on around us, we can take comfort and encouragement that God knows exactly where we are and what is going on, and HE will bring His Kingdom in His time!  For Jesus is the only way into God’s family and Kingdom, and whether we be ‘king’ or ‘peasant’ there is only One way—and HIS name is Jesus—and He will save those who call upon Him!  But to reject Him is to perish!

And as Moses lifted up the serpent

in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of man

be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world,

that he gave

his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son

into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world

through him

might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him

is not condemned:

but he that believeth not

is condemned already,

because he hath not believed

in the name

of the only begotten Son

of God.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds were evil.”    John 3:14-19

Jesus came that we could have life—the choice is yours, mine, and it is ‘theirs’—that ‘they’ who think they run the world!  The Psalmist gives us a most eloquent picture of the world we live in, still; and a picture of The One who was coming for salvation to those who would believe, yet judgment for those who refuse HIM!

Why do the heathen rage,

and the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the LORD,

and against his anointed,

saying,

3 Let us break their bands asunder,

and cast away their cords from us.

4 He that sitteth in the heavens

shall laugh:

the Lord shall

have them in derision.

5 Then shall he speak unto them

in his wrath,

and vex them

in his sore displeasure.

6 Yet have I set my king

upon my holy hill of Zion.

7 I will declare the decree:

the LORD hath said unto me,

Thou art my Son;

this day have I begotten thee.

8 Ask of me,

and I shall give thee the heathen

for thine inheritance,

and the uttermost parts of the earth

for thy possession.

9 Thou shalt break them

with a rod of iron;

thou shalt dash them in pieces

like a potter’s vessel.

10 Be wise now therefore,

O ye kings:

be instructed,

ye judges of the earth.

11 Serve the LORD with fear,

and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son,

lest he be angry,

and ye perish

from the way,

when his wrath

is kindled but a little.

Blessed are all they

that put their trust

in him.”  Psalm 2:1-12

May God encourage your heart today and remind you that no matter who ‘doesn’t play fair’, HE is in charge—He will requite!  As Jeremiah 51:56b says, “for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite.

‘Nuff said!

Amen and Amen.

 

 

Jesus IS Our Hope!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #529

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #529    Jesus IS Our Hope!!!

 

Sunday’s post was a bit heavy, so I thought I’d simply like to share a word of encouragement and hope this morning.  So, buckle your seat belt, and let’s take our day to Jesus!

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 purify your hearts, ye double minded.”    James 4:6-8

James reminds us that it’s God who gives us grace to live by, but we must draw near to HIM and resist the enemy of our souls.  May our hearts be humble before Him, as we stand fast and resist the devil, as we draw nigh to God cleansing our hands, hearts and minds.  As we continue to draw near to Him, we can have the confidence of Job.

For I know that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand

at the latter day

upon the earth:”  Job 19:25

Our hope is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—our soon coming KING—HE is our confidence and hope.

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

Jesus shared this with the disciples after telling them of His leaving that would be followed by His absolute return.  Even Job knew that his “Redeemer” would stand on this earth—in victory as the King–only after coming as the suffering servant who would pay for our sin.

In my Father’s house are many mansions:

if it were not so,

I would have told you.

I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again,

and receive you

unto myself;

that where I am,

there ye may be also.

4 And whither I go

ye know,

and the way ye know.”  John 14:2-4

Jesus gives us the confident assurance of HIS return; and while the disciples were baffled at this conundrum (look it up 🙂 ), Jesus assured them of who He was!  I can’t comprehend the sadness and disappointment that they struggled with for that three days between the crucifixion and Resurrection Sunday!  But WOW!  The riddle was no longer a riddle—just the power and glory of the resurrected Jesus, giving them the confident hope and assurance that helped them take the Gospel throughout the whole known world!  Powered by His Spirit to confident boldness, and courage to speak truth!

So, take hope today—Jesus is coming soon, and HE knows where you are today, and will make the way clear as you “draw near to” HIM! Blessings on your day!  Amen and Amen!