A Father’s Love!!! Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 19

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 19 A Father’s Love!!!

(An Edited repost of Vol. 8 No. 3)

As we celebrate Father’s Day today, I can’t help but think of my own godly Father, and that makes me smile, even though he’s been gone for 27 years! Love doesn’t have an expiration date! My father was a quiet man, yet one who lived what he believed—he walked the walk; he didn’t just “talk” a talk! One of the biblical Greek words that is translated “love” is ‘agape’, which means benevolent love; it also means selfless love, which always acts or behaves in the best interest of the recipient of that love.

My father was one of the best examples of this God-like kind of love. But what does it look like? How does that kind of love act and respond?

Greater love hath no man than this,

that a man lay down his life for his friends.”    John 15:13.                (Jesus even laid down His life for His enemies-See Romans 5:1-11)

As Jesus spoke these words, He was about to lay down His life for His disciples, for the world—for you and me! While we know that Jesus laid down His physical life, He shed His blood for our salvation, I’d like to talk about this concept from a different perspective. People can be willing to die for others; our military men and women pledge themselves to give “all” for the defense of our nation; local citizens make that same kind of commitment to local fire and law-enforcement departments. Yet there is something more. The question that I’d like us to consider is not just, “Are you willing to ‘die’ for someone/something?” but “Are you willing to give yourself to ‘live’ for others?” Are we willing to sacrifice our personal desires, comfort, and convenience for the benevolent good of others?

We often think of this in regard to true Christian living and martyrdom, but do we apply it to our ‘living’ relationships with others? I’ll have to admit, I don’t always make the grade in this area, but my father was an example of selflessness that took me many years to appreciate fully. While Jesus left us the greatest of all examples in giving His life’s blood for us: He also gave His ‘living’ in foregoing His own personal desires to meet the needs of those around Him—including you and me! He kept on going when He was tired, when He was ridiculed, when He was weary and perhaps even frustrated with the unbelief of those around Him. Jesus gave Himself for others, to serve and minister to them that they might see truth and come to salvation by faith in Him, and we are called to follow HIS example. What are we “giving”? How are we “behaving” toward others? Do people see Jesus IN us?

Let nothing be done through strife

or vainglory;

but in lowliness of mind

let each esteem other

better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things,

but every man also

on the things of others.

Let this mind be in you,

which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God,

thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation,

and took upon him the form of a servant,

and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient

unto death,

even the death of the cross.”    Philippians 2:3-8

Jesus laid down His life for us, and we are called to lay down our “self” life, for a life of “selfless” service to Jesus and others; to give of ourselves that others may come to “life” in HIM. In following Jesus we are also called to follow His example of humility, servant-hood, obedience to our Father God (as well as our earthly father), as we die to our selfish desires and daily live for and unto God through the power of The Son and His Holy Spirit!

When I see the needs of others, my thoughts should go to God, asking ‘What can I do?’ Yet we are living in a culture that has been, and still is, teaching others to focus on “Who will meet my needs?” rather than “What can I do to help? We are saved to live unto Jesus in faithful, biblical service to others, and we can only do that when we “die” to self!

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

I watched my father live this out in his life with my mother, with us children, and with others. While he had very strict rules about lending and borrowing (he seldom did either); he wouldn’t loan you his tools, but he would come do whatever repair work you needed to have done. While he wouldn’t loan out his mower, he would come mow your lawn if you needed it. He also had strict rules about others driving his car, but if you needed a ride he would chauffer you wherever you needed to go. He gave of himself to meet the needs of others as he had opportunity.

In the case of my mother he almost always did what pleased her. Many saw him as a “hen-pecked’ husband, but what they didn’t realize was that my mothers happiness and pleasure meant more to him than anything else. He often gave up his desires to please her even when it cost him financially. My father served others because He loved serving Jesus in any way that he could and believed that serving others was one way to serve Jesus.

While my father was a man of few words, he was a man of selflessness and kindness in every way, and to everyone. What he taught me about self-sacrifice by his life and actions is a priceless heritage and I thank God for His blessing of a godly, honorable, honest and generous father. One who loved me ‘unconditionally’!

He lived out the “fruit of the Spirit” in his daily walk, and I thank God for the things I learned from him. One of the things that I learned is that you can do a lot of talking, but if your actions don’t match your words, you haven’t really said much worth listening to. I learned that “laying down your life”, doesn’t mean just “dying”, but in an even greater way, it means living a life of selfless love in action. It means living a life that gives of ‘self’ to secure the good of ‘others’ to the glory of God. And we can only do that when we have God’s love within us.

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

By whom also we have access

by faith

into this grace

wherein we stand,

and rejoice in hope

of the glory of God.

And not only so,

but we glory in tribulations also:

knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience;

and experience, hope:

And hope maketh not ashamed;

because the love of God

is shed abroad in our hearts

by the Holy Ghost

which is given unto us.”    Romans 5:1-5

When we come to Jesus by faith and repentance, we receive God’s love via the Holy Spirit—we receive the ability to share God’s love with others from within. We also receive the ability to grow in grace and truth by the Holy Spirit of Jesus. You might want to note that we don’t grow in the “fruits” of The Spirit, but in the “fruit of the Spirit”!

But the fruit of the Spirit is

love,

joy,

peace,

longsuffering,

gentleness,

goodness,

faith,

23 Meekness,

temperance:

against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s

have crucified the flesh

with the affections and lusts.

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 5:22-26

Sometimes doing what is best may mean that we are misunderstood. Real love, godly, ‘agape’ love does what is best for the other person—not what indulges their sinful flesh, and that isn’t always welcome! I thank God that I have had a wonderful example of “God’s” love from my parents, especially my father, and I knew the security of truly “unconditional” love and forgiveness from one of the godliest men I ever knew. I am also married to another!

If you still have your parents (Especially your father on this Father’s Day) with you, take time and let them know what they mean to you. If not, then thank our heavenly Father for all that He is and all that He does in providing for us, especially for Jesus who actually gave HIS all for us; and for the blessing of godly parents. And may we strive to be godly parents/grandparents, and leave a heritage of godliness to those who come behind us!

Happy Father’s Day! May our lives bring honor to our Heavenly Father and to our earthly fathers and mothers.

Honour thy father and thy mother:

that thy days may be long

upon the land

which the Lord thy God

giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12

We are all blessed beyond measure, may our lives reflect our gratitude in all we do and say. Bless someone today!!!

 

 

How Shall They Hear??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #469

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #469 How Shall They Hear???

 

As I sit here this Friday morning, I’ve been thinking about sharing the Good News—it what we all called to be and do.

For whosoever shall call

upon the name of the Lord

shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him

in whom they have not believed?

and how shall they believe

in him of whom they have not heard?

and how shall they hear

without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach,

except they be sent?

as it is written,

How beautiful are the feet

of them that preach

the gospel of peace,

and bring glad tidings

of good things!” Romans 10:13-15 

Many of us say, “Well, I’m not a preacher!” Well…….we may not be a ‘preacher’, but we are called to preach/tell what Jesus has done for us in word and deed. Spreading the “gospel of peace” is what we do—we are a witness whether we act like it or not—a ‘good’ witness or a ‘poor’ witness– we are ‘preaching’ by our lives! Jesus, the one who gives us ‘peace with God’ calls us to be a reflection of His truth and grace to a lost and dying world! As the old adage says, “You may be the only ‘Bible’ that some people read!” What are others reading in your life and mine?

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access

by faith

into this grace

wherein we stand,

and rejoice

in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2

Jesus gives us ‘peace with God’ because He paid the price of our sin, the sin that costs eternity in hell, so we have a story to share/preach. Jesus makes us right with God—He reconciles, redeems and restores us to ‘son-ship’ with God—and that is good news that we can ‘preach’ everywhere we go!

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

Born…of God” by the work of His Holy Spirit, and made new—the good news that makes our lives a testimony to reflect JESUS to the world! Not with arrogance or a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, but with a humble love and devotion to Jesus. His life and love shining through us to a lost and dying world, so that they “hear/see” Him IN us!

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:

and be ready always to give an answer

to every man that asketh you

a reason of the hope

that is in you

with meekness and fear:”   1 Peter 3:15

Sunshine Or Rain??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #468

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #468 Sunshine Or Rain???

 

Several years ago we had a structural problem with our home, unknown to us, in some remodeling by a long-previous owner, a weight-bearing wall had been removed! Well, being raised in the deep south where most homes were built on piers when I was a child, and everyone knew about weight-bearing walls—and you don’t mess with them. Well, it had taken quite a few years before the problems manifested themselves, and we were forced to take care of the problems that it created.

When we finally found someone to do the work, he did a great job, but on the last day as he finished the repairs he came in and as we were talking, he remarked that he didn’t know how we hadn’t had the ceiling in our laps. I replied to him that I knew how—he looked startled– and I simply replied, “Jesus was taking care of us! That’s why the ceiling wasn’t in our lap!” I have learned to have total confidence in the “providential” care of God in our everyday lives. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today—God’s care—the continual, providential care of God Almighty in all!

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,

from whence cometh my help.

2 My help

cometh from the LORD,

which made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:

he that keepeth thee

will not slumber.

4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel

shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD is thy keeper:

the LORD is thy shade

upon thy right hand.

6 The sun shall not smite thee

by day,

nor the moon

by night.

7 The LORD shall preserve thee

from all evil:

he shall preserve

thy soul.

8 The LORD shall preserve

thy going out

and thy coming in

from this time forth,

and even for evermore.” Psalm 121

May we rehearse this precious Psalm today, rejoicing in who our God is–God Most High, ruler of all:

Creator—

Keeper—

Protector—

Caregiver in the day and night—

The One who preserves—

From evil—

Our soul—

Our going out—

Our coming in—

ALWAYS!!!

So day or night, danger or ease, difficulty or confusion—our God reigns and cares for YOU and me!

And we know that

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 8:28-29

Where’s Your Sin??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 18

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 18 Where’s Your Sin???

 

We talk a lot about sin, and what it is, but we haven’t talked about where it is, and scripture talks a lot about “where” sin is. The first thing that we must recognize is that sin is the issue and we all have it!

As it is written,

There is none righteous,

no,

not one:

11 There is none that understandeth,

there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone out of the way,

they are together become unprofitable;

there is none that doeth good,

no,

not one.” Romans 3:10-12

Righteousness is the opposite of sin—doing right in God’s eyes, meeting His standard, and being able to receive His glory!

For all have sinned,

and come short

of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

All—that’s you and me—that’s every person born into this world, with the exception of the God Man, Jesus Christ the Lord, who came into this world to pay for our sin, so we wouldn’t have to pay for our own sin (for the only what that we could pay for our own sin is death and hell!).

For the wages of sin

is death;

but the gift of God

is eternal life

through Jesus Christ our Lord.”    Romans 6:23

All because Jesus is the only One who had the cure for sin—Himself, the sinless, perfect, Lamb of God—which was His life for yours and mine at Calvary. This sinless Son of God who came that we might live!

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 

Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we can have life, and an advocate—on who stands on our side—who bought our salvation and gives us ‘abundant life’ in this life and in the life to come with Him in heaven! All because HE cares for you! He cared enough to die that we might have life. He is the “Good Shepherd” who gives His life for the sheep, and for those who come to Him in repentance and faith, He gives His life ‘to’ to the sheep. That presence of His Holy Spirit within is us why we are can “come boldly unto the throne of grace”, and oh what a privilege it is to be welcomed into His presence and know that we can always find “grace to help in time of need”! I can never praise Him enough for His faithful provision that I have seen with my own eyes, and know in my own heart and life! Jesus cares for sinners, even though He had no sin, and lived a perfect life to be that sacrifice for us!

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith,

Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away the sin

of the world……

Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;

36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith,

Behold the Lamb of God!

37 And the two disciples heard him speak,

and they followed Jesus.” John 1:29 & 35-37

Jesus came to be the One who “taketh away the sin of the world”, and the only One who could and would!

While the world had waited for God’s long-awaited Messiah, God had given His Law to Moses to point people to see that they could never save themselves! For, as my pastor says so aptly, the Law is good but it was ‘Partial, Preliminary, and Pointed to the coming Messiah’ this very “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”!!! Jesus takes our sin away, but where does He take it!

Who is a God like unto thee,

that pardoneth iniquity,

and passeth by the transgression

of the remnant of his heritage?

he retaineth not his anger for ever,

because he delighteth in mercy.

19 He will turn again,

he will have compassion upon us;

he will subdue our iniquities;

and thou wilt cast all their sins

into the depths of the sea.”    Micah 7:18-19

Jesus is the only One who can forgive and pardon our sin, and He casts them “into the depths of the sea”! Jesus does away with our sin!

And you,

being dead in your sins

and the uncircumcision of your flesh,

hath he quickened

together with him,

having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances

that was against us,

which was contrary to us,

and took it out of the way,

nailing it to his cross;”    Colossians 2:13-14

Jesus blotted out our sin with His own blood—I praise HIS name that out of HIS great love HE took “MY” sin “out of the way, nailing it to his cross”!! Amen and Amen! What love is this? How can your refuse His call to you? He willingly, lovingly gave that which only His love could give:

And from Jesus Christ,

who is the faithful witness,

and the first begotten of the dead,

and the prince of the kings of the earth.

Unto him that loved us,

and washed us from our sins

in his own blood,” Revelation 1:5

All this because He loves us and wants us to spend eternity with HIM, not to spend eternity in Hell paying for our own sin, when HE has already paid the price.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,

as some men count slackness;

but is longsuffering to us-ward,

not willing that any should perish,

but that all should come to repentance.”    2 Peter 3:9

What have you done with your sin? Have you come to Jesus in repentance and faith, and let Him take your sin away—to forgive your sin and give you new life in HIM? Do you hear His voice calling to YOU? The price has already been paid—what have you done with that gift?

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”   1 John 2:2

Jesus is the “payment in full” for our sin, and “propitiation for our sins” simply means that Jesus has paid for sin in full, for all who will come to HIM. But HE is the Only Way to receive forgiveness of sin; there is no other way! Even as the Apostle John recorded the words of our Lord:

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

And the Apostle Peter reiterated this same truth as He shared the Gospel after healing the impotent man!

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel,

that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

whom ye crucified,

whom God raised from the dead,

even by him

doth this man stand here before you

whole.

11 This is the stone

which was set at nought of you builders,

which is become the head of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other:

for there is none other name

under heaven

given among men,

whereby we must be saved.”    Acts 4:10-12

Only One Way then—only One Way now! No matter how men may try to water down the Gospel, it’s still about Jesus and Him alone. And unless you come to Jesus for salvation, you are carrying the debt of your own sin. And there is coming a day when that debt will be due! So my question for today is simple, “Where is your sin?” Is it under the blood, or will you have to pay for your own sin? It is a choice that you can make only in this life, for after we leave this world it is too late….

And as it is appointed unto men once to die,

but after this

the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27

The question is not “will you bow”, because all will recognize Jesus as the Only Way when He comes, but then it will be too late for those who have refused to bow in life. The question isn’t “will you bow”, but “when will you bow”? Will you bow now before the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and receive His gift of eternal life, forgiveness of your sin, and have Jesus “cast them into the sea” (And as Corrie Ten Boom often said, “He casts them into the sea, and puts up a ‘no fishing’ sign!”) never to be considered again, or will you bow before Him then as your judge?

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

Jesus paid your debt—will you receive it?

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead,

small and great,

stand before God;

and the books were opened:

and another book was opened,

which is the book of life:

and the dead were judged out of those things

which were written in the books,

according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead

which were in it;

and death and hell delivered up the dead

which were in them:

and they were judged

every man

according to their works.

14 And death and hell

were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found

written in the book of life

was cast into the lake of fire.”    Revelation 20:11-15

Where is your sin? Is it on you or on Jesus? The choice is yours, but choose wisely there is a test/judgment coming! Don’t wait and find that you come to Him “One Day Too Late!” (The title of an old Lanny Wolfe song!)! May you look to Jesus today—for salvation if you don’t know Him, and in total provision for your every need if you do know Him! For remember:

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

I’m praying for you! Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem! Bible Ballistics: BBs #467

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #467 Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem!

 

I simply want to share a Psalm with you today and ask that we pray “for the peace of Jerusalem”—the “apple of His eye” (See Zechariah 2:8 & Deuteronomy 32:10)! And as we pray, let’s remember that Jesus IS the ‘peace’ that we all need! May He speak to your heart today through this simple Psalm?

A Song of degrees of David

1 I was glad when they said unto me,

Let us go into the house of the LORD.

2 Our feet shall stand

within thy gates, O Jerusalem.

3 Jerusalem is builded as a city

that is compact together:

4 Whither the tribes go up,

the tribes of the LORD,

unto the testimony of Israel,

to give thanks

unto the name of the LORD.

5 For there are set thrones of judgment,

the thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

they shall prosper that love thee.

7 Peace be within thy walls,

and prosperity within thy palaces.

8 For my brethren and companions’ sakes,

I will now say,

Peace be within thee.

9 Because of the house of the LORD our God

I will seek thy good.” Psalm 122

Amen and Amen!