But I Don’t FEEL Like It??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #694

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #694  But I Don’t FEEL Like It???

 

As we celebrate our attitude of “gratitude”, reality is ever present with us—we will invariably encounter those people who push our buttons, who are unkind, who say and do hurtful things—what then?  Well, I want you to know, I have those same people in my life and if we’re going to be real here, there are times I just don’t “FEEL” like being nice.  But God calls us to a higher plane, and I just want to remind each of us (especially me) that our feelings are to be kept under control by our heart and mind by the Holy Spirit!

Be not deceived;

God is not mocked:

for whatsoever a man soweth,

that shall he also reap.

8 For he that soweth to his flesh

shall of the flesh

reap corruption;

but he that soweth to the Spirit

shall of the Spirit

reap life everlasting.

9 And let us not be weary

in well doing:

for in due season we shall reap,

if we faint not.

10 As we have therefore opportunity,

let us do good unto all men,

especially unto them

who are of the household of faith.”   Galatians 6:7-10

Paul reminds us so clearly, and even as I sit here typing this post, God is reminding me that I have the freedom, and privilege to choose how I will respond to others—even to those who hurt my feelings, wound my heart, or just irritate me seemingly at every turn.  Do you have any of those people in your life?  Well, God gives us the truth that we are called to live by—regardless of how others choose to behave!  We are called to remember—

the principle of sowing and reaping—

the constant conflict of the flesh-vs-the spirit—

the reality of ‘weariness’—

the encouragement to press on—to faint not—

we are called to “do good unto all men

       –as God gives us opportunity—

       –especially to the family of faith!

So, as we consider these things, God will help us to function in HIS Spirit and not our flesh.  But it is a constant battle, yet a battle that we can prevail in with The Holy Spirit of God within us!  Oh, how I praise His name that we don’t have to do it on our own.

For we have not an high priest

which cannot be touched

with the feeling of our infirmities;

but was in all points

tempted like as we are,

yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly

unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help

in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:15-16

We have a God who cares!  We have a redeemer who walked where we walk, and yet HE overcame sin and bought our salvation!  HE overcame not only death, but the power of sin in our lives; yet we must avail ourselves of the truths of HIS Word that we might fight the good fight of faith.  We can only do that when we walk in the power of The Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus/God The Father and feast on The Word!

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil

the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth

against the Spirit,

and the Spirit

against the flesh:

and these are contrary

the one to the other:

so that ye cannot

do the things that ye would.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit,

ye are not under the law…

…. 25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory,

provoking one another,

envying one another.”   Galatians 5:16-18 & 25-26=

We must choose continually whether we will be filled with The Holy Spirit or the spirit of the world!  It’s your choice, but choose wisely; remember what we learned above, “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”!  What are you sowing?  Will you join me in committing to seek God’s ways, by HIS Spirit and remember, with me, a verse that I used to have my children quote when they were at odds with their siblings—it was good for them—and it is good for you and me. (Check out Galatians 5:19-24 too)

And be ye kind one to another,

tenderhearted,

forgiving one another,

even as God

for Christ’s sake

hath forgiven you.”   Ephesians 4:32

Amen!!!

Grateful Hearts/Generous Hands??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 10

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 10 Grateful Hearts/Generous Hands???

 

But this I say,

He which soweth sparingly

shall reap also sparingly;

and he which soweth bountifully

shall reap also bountifully.

7 Every man

according as he purposeth

in his heart,

so let him give;

not grudgingly,

or of necessity:

for God loveth a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able

to make all grace abound

toward you;

that ye,

always having all sufficiency

in all things,

may abound

to every good work:” 2 Corinthians 9:7

Contrary to popular belief, the bounty that God gives is not for selfish consumption, but that we may “abound to every good work”— good works that God has called us to do when we become HIS children by grace through faith.  It’s not a contest, that like the world says, “The one who dies with the most toys, wins!”; but rather it’s a gift that is to be shared with those whom God calls us to bless!

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

As Paul goes on to say, we are to be a people of gratitude, because we only have that which we have received—and if we have received it ourselves, how can we withhold it from those in need, or from those whom God has placed in our path to bless?  When we are truly grateful it should produce hearts and hands of generosity.  We will be willing to share as we have opportunity, thanking God for the privilege of being a blessing!  Are you thankful for what God has done for you?  For what HE is doing for, in and through you?  For the glory that is to come with HIM. (Note ‘received’ in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5)

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;”  Ephesians 5:15-20

Let’s take this apart for consideration, are you/I:

Walking circumspectly—with righteous character?

Being foolish or wise in our behavior?

Redeeming “our” time for God’s purposes?

Doing right regardless of the evil around us?

Understanding God’s will by knowing HIS Word?

Maintaining a sober mind (set on God not substances)?

Being filled with HIS Holy Spirit over fleshly desires?

Speaking godly words to ourselves and others?

Having and sharing God’s joyful song from our heart?

GIVING THANKS—

ALWAYS—

FOR ALL THINGS—

UNTO GOD (not self!)—

BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS HAS DONE FOR US?

These are questions that each of must answer continually; yet as we listen and heed the voice of God’s Spirit within us, we will find ourselves gaining the victory over self and abounding in the generous, grateful heart that God calls and equips us to express before a lost and dying world!

What have you shared today?  Yesterday?  Do you plan on sharing tomorrow?  I’d simply like to leave us with a few words of encouragement from The Word; and I pray that you have a most blessed and Holy season of Thanksgiving!  Not just a day—but a lifestyle with an “attitude of gratitude” (especially in these perilous times!)!

I exhort therefore, that,

first of all,

supplications,

prayers,

intercessions,

and giving of thanks,

be made for all men;

 2 For kings,

and for all that are in authority;

that we may lead a quiet

and peaceable life

in all godliness

and honesty.

3 For this is good and acceptable

in the sight of God our Saviour;

4 Who will have all men to be saved,

and to come unto the knowledge

of the truth.”  1 Timothy 2:1-4

And as the author of the Proverbs reminds us:

Withhold not good

from them

to whom it is due,

when it is in the power

of thine hand

to do it.

28 Say not unto thy neighbour,

Go,

and come again,

and to morrow I will give;

when thou hast it by thee.  Proverbs 3:27-28

I pray that your Thanksgiving is blessed and peaceful, and I’ll see ya’ll next time!   Amen and Amen!

Really Thankful Or What??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #693

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #693  Really Thankful Or What???

 

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 5:18-20

Paul reminds us, along with the Ephesian believers, that our lives matter—not just our words, and feelings, but our lives—our living.  We live in a day when outside substances are the rage—sipping wine, taking drugs—of all sorts–pursuing sexual lusts, or just getting a little relief from any or every source but Jesus!  Yet Paul calls us to be “filled with the Spirit”—not by various outside substances.  Would you/I rather be controlled by the world’s elements or by the Spirit of God, who will direct our steps in God’s ways—yielding a heart full of gratitude?  What a testament to a world pursuing “self”!

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 100:1-5

While gratitude is often overlooked, God reminds us of its importance!  In Paul’s warning to the Romans about the consequences of sin—where it leads, what it does to those who pursue it, and how our ‘ingratitude’ can be a sign of danger to our souls —a warning sign that is totally apropos in today’s culture.

For the invisible things of him

from the creation of the world

are clearly seen,

being understood

by the things that are made,

even his eternal power

and Godhead;

so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God,

they glorified him not

as God,

neither were thankful;

but became vain

in their imaginations,

and their foolish heart

was darkened.”  Romans 1:20-21

So, as we consider the “or what” in contrast to gratitude, where do you and I stand?  Have we bowed the knee before The Lord Jesus Christ, or do we continue to go our own way—with no regard for the God who gives us breath, or His Son who came that we might have life—eternal life in glory as well as abundant life with Jesus here and now—life to be grateful for; life that can be used by our Lord to make a difference in a world of greed and selfish attention to “me” first in all things!  God’s life within us—a new life for which we can be eternally grateful.  So, how is your “attitude of gratitude”?  Do you have one?  May we shout with the Psalmist and praise our God as we express our gratitude toward HIM before a world desperately needing to see it in us?

Enter into his gates

with thanksgiving,

and into his courts

with praise:

be thankful unto him,

and bless his name

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

Today IS What We Have!!! Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 09

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 09  Today IS What We Have!!!

 

Take heed, brethren,

lest there be in any of you

an evil heart

of unbelief,

in departing from the living God.

13 But exhort one another daily,

while it is called To day;

lest any of you be hardened

through the deceitfulness of sin.

14 For we are made partakers of Christ,

if we hold the beginning of our confidence

stedfast unto the end;

15 While it is said,

To day if ye will hear his voice,

harden not your hearts,

as in the provocation…

…19 So we see that they could not enter in

because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:12-15, 19

I have heard it told of Martin Luther, that when asked what he would do “if he knew the Lord would come tomorrow?”; he replied, “I’d plant another tree!”  What did he mean?  I think that he meant that he would live faithfully today and tomorrow, and the next day in anticipation of his Lord’s return.  And that is how each of us ought to live; for today is all we have!  As I ponder the realities of life and death, I am brought to treasure the fact that we only have this day, this moment, this present hour, and we have to live it now.  We can’t put things off until tomorrow…or live in the yesterdays that failed, disappointed, or shattered our hearts, minds and lives.  Jesus has given us today—and we only have today to receive HIM!  We only have today to love HIM!  We only have today to serve HIM!  We also only have today to touch, treasure, enjoy and make a difference in the lives around us.

The author of Hebrews reminds us that we have the choice to receive and believe Jesus, as we respond in faith and obedience to His voice speaking to our hearts; or we can let the enemy of our souls deceive, distract and destroy our life!  Jesus reminds us that HE came that we might have life—and do God’s work–today!

I must work the works of him

that sent me,

while it is day:

the night cometh,

when no man can work.

5 As long as I am in the world,

I am the light of the world.”  John 9:4-5

Jesus saith unto them,

My meat is to do the will of him

that sent me,

and to finish his work.

35 Say not ye,

There are yet four months,

and then cometh harvest?

behold,

I say unto you,

Lift up your eyes,

and look on the fields;

for they are white already

to harvest.”  John 4:34-35

And what work has Jesus called you to?  He has called you and I to run “the race” that He has set before us!  God isn’t asking you to run my race!  Nor is He calling me to run yours!  HE sets our own race before each of us—our job is to run it today, and each today that sets before us!  We are called to be salt and light as we run our race today!  Whose life have you and I failed to season or brighten, simply because we missed our opportunity; often by looking back on yesterday or waiting for tomorrow (or dreading it and what it “might hold” for us or those that we love)?

Ye are the salt of the earth:

but if the salt have lost his savour,

wherewith shall it be salted?

it is thenceforth good for nothing,

but to be cast out,

and to be trodden under foot

of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world.

A city that is set on an hill

cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle,

and put it under a bushel,

but on a candlestick;

and it giveth light

unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine

before men,

that they may see your good works,

and glorify your Father

which is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:13-16

Are we willing to follow Jesus today, so that HE might accomplish His work in us, through us, and bless others?  Will we run in our lane by His grace, power and love?  It’s your call, what will you choose?  Don’t faint; but “stand fast” in this evil day!

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about

with so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us lay aside every weight,

and the sin which doth so easily beset us,

and let us run with patience

the race

that is set before us,

2 Looking unto Jesus

the author

and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is set down

at the right hand

of the throne of God.

3 For consider him

that endured such contradiction of sinners

against himself,

lest ye be wearied

and faint in your minds.”  Hebrews 12:1-3

Will you join me and proclaim, like Job, that we will live for HIM today because we know “HE” lives and will return soon, and we will be with HIM, when we have been born of God.  So, let us “faint” not and press on!

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

May we truly live today for our God—today–and each “today” that He sets before us.

HAmen and Amen!!!

It’s Not Tomorrow Yet??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #692

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #692  It’s Not Tomorrow Yet???

 

I simply want to share a brief (you do know that is a totally subjective word!) word of encouragement with you on this Friday; and I hope it will lift you up wherever you are “today”!

This is the day

which the LORD hath made;

we will rejoice

and be glad

in it.”  Psalm 118:24

Unlike the song from Annie, if I don’t’ “love you today”, I may not get ‘tomorrow’. I may be gone—you may be gone—our circumstances may prohibit our being together, you/I only have today!  And today is “the day” which God has set before us; what will we do with it?  Let’s make today a day to “rejoice” and “be glad” in all that our God is!  Not just what HE does, but who HE is and the great confidence that we can have when we are HIS!

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

When we belong to Jesus, having been born again of His Spirit, we can know that HE has us in HIS hand, and He keeps that which is HIS.  We just need to be sure that we are HIS!  And when we belong to Jesus, we can sing with confidence “Because He Lives” (A Hymn written by Bill and Gloria Gaither)…I can____!

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 1:12-13

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

God is ever at work in His own, and we can be sure of HIM today; and while we never know what tomorrow holds—even Jesus’ eminent return—God knows those who are HIS own and what each day holds for each of us!  Always!

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

So, my simple advice to us all is, “Be ready”!  Jesus could come today!  And even if He tarries, may we be found faithfully serving our King when HE does come!

If you don’t know Him, and you hear His voice speaking to your heart, then open that door!

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

And for those of us who are His sheep, may we live in such a way that we will hear Jesus say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant……enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (See Matthew 25:21)!

Praise God we can ‘rejoice’ and ‘be glad’ today!  What’s your decision?  Will you choose to rejoice today?  May it ever be so!

Amen and Amen!