HIS Way Or Mine??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No. 10

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No.10 HIS Way Or Mine???

 

We talked last week about the truth of scripture that “every knee shall bow” before The Lord Jesus when He returns! I’d like us to continue in that vein of thought and I ask each of us to “consider your ways”! Those who claim to know Jesus, need to be sure that we are walking in the way that Jesus calls us to walk; we need to examine our own hearts and lives each day and be sure that we are God’s, being what He wants us to be, and doing that which pleases HIM.

Examine yourselves,

whether ye be in the faith;

prove your own selves.

Know ye not your own selves,

how that Jesus Christ is in you,

except ye be reprobates?”   2 Corinthians 13:5

This is a call to be certain that we know our genuine spiritual state! It doesn’t matter what others may think of us, what matters is what God knows about us, and that we truly know HIM. And when we know Him, we can be sure of our relationship by His Spirit, which dwells within us.

So then they that are in the flesh

cannot please God.

9 But ye are not in the flesh,

but in the Spirit,

if so be that the Spirit of God

dwell in you.

Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,

he is none of his.

10 And if Christ be in you,

the body is dead because of sin;

but the Spirit is life

because of righteousness.” Ro. 8:8-10

The Word God makes it clear that those who belong to Jesus, have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within them, and by His presence we can truly know whose we are!

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” Romans 8:16

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

God knows those who are His own, those who have been born again by the Spirit of God. But we must be sure that we belong to Him, that we have received the new life in Christ by grace through faith in His redeeming blood!

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

God brings new birth to those who come to Jesus in repentance and faith, giving us life by the death of Jesus.

And you hath he quickened, (made alive)

who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2 Wherein in time past ye walked

according to the course

of this world,

according to the prince

of the power of the air,

the spirit that now worketh

in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all

had our conversation

in times past

in the lusts

of our flesh,

fulfilling the desires

of the flesh

and of the mind;

and were by nature

the children of wrath,

even as others.

4 But God,

who is rich in mercy,

for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead

in sins,

hath quickened us

together with Christ,

(by grace ye are saved😉”.  Ephesians 2:1-5

God takes lost sinners and makes them saints, and calls us to know Him and walk in His way—yet HE repeatedly calls us to “consider your ways”! In the book of Haggai, God called His people Israel to do what they had said they would do; to obey Him and do HIS work not their own. These people had returned to the land of Judah, and the city of Jerusalem from the land of Babylon in order to rebuild the temple and the city of God. The people had been called to obey God and rebuild HIS temple, but they had become distracted, and were so busy taking care of themselves, that they neglected to trust God and do HIS will! Instead they had put ‘self’ first—as we often do!

But seek ye first the kingdom of God,

and his righteousness;

and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow:

for the morrow shall take thought

for the things of itself.

Sufficient unto the day

is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:33-34

We are called to “seek” Jesus first, to follow Him and trust Him in all our ways. In the Model Prayer, Jesus reminds us that our heart’s focus is to be on God—always! Let’s take a look and see what Jesus calls us to do! Watch the pronouns and where Jesus says our allegiance ought to be.

After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father

which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come. (God’s kingdom!)

Thy will be done          (God’s will!)

in earth,

as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day      (God’s provision!)

our daily bread.

12 And forgive us        (God’s forgiveness!)

our debts,

as we forgive

our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, (HIS Lead!)

but deliver us from evil:    (HIS provision!)

For thine is the kingdom,           (HIS kingdom!)

and the power,                          (HIS power!)

and the glory,                            (HIS glory!)

for ever.                                     (ALWAYS!)

Amen.” Matthew 6:6:9-13

Our allegiance is to God—first, foremost and always; to HIS kingdom, not our own; to HIS will, not our own, to HIS perfect provision in all! It reminds me of another passage.

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.

7 Be not wise

in thine own eyes:

fear the LORD,

and depart from evil.

8 It shall be health to thy navel,

and marrow to thy bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8

We can only live a spiritually profitable life for God, when we put all our “trust” in HIM, when we “lean not” on our own understanding; when we “acknowledge HIM”; trusting HIM to direct our paths! We cannot trust in our own wisdom, but we must learn to totally trust in God’s wisdom, following His leading and the prompting of HIS Spirit–not our own or the worlds. Let’s hear what God had to say through Haggai!

Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,

4 Is it time for you,

O ye,

to dwell in your cieled houses,

and this house lie waste?

5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts;

Consider your ways.” Haggai 1:5

What are we choosing to do with our lives: what we want to do, or what God has called us to do: His way or ours?

Thus saith the LORD of hosts;

Consider your ways.

8 Go up to the mountain,

and bring wood,

and build the house;

and I will take pleasure in it,

and I will be glorified,

saith the LORD.” Haggai 1:7-8

The question that you and I must answer is, “Are we following our God, and doing what HE calls us to do; or are we doing our own thing?” Are we trying to please the world, by popularity, prominence, or wealth? Or are we choosing God’s will? Will you “consider your ways”? We must ask God to search us so that we might walk right before HIM, being cognizant of our own hearts and minds, considering how to truly reflect Jesus to the world, not self! We are living in perilous times; it is imperative that we stand fast!

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous,

boasters,

proud,

blasphemers,

disobedient to parents,

unthankful,

unholy,

3 Without natural affection,

trucebreakers,

false accusers,

incontinent,

fierce,

despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors,

heady,

highminded,

lovers of pleasures

more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness,

but denying the power thereof:

from such turn away.”   2 Timothy 3:1-5

Consider that last phrase, “from such turn away”! Are we turning away from the evil, or are we trying to accommodate the evil, and make it palatable? Jesus told us, and Paul reiterates here, that we will be “despised” for following HIM—for living ‘righteous’ by HIS blood and HIS Word!

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

We can only be ‘good’/‘righteous’ by the blood of Jesus, when He saves us by His grace, through HIS substitutionary, atoning sacrifice on the cross! Only One way—only One Savior. And when He saves us He gives us HIS Spirit to dwell within us, to enable us to reflect the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ rather than the ‘works of the flesh’. Let’s ask God to examine our hearts to see what is really there—the Spirit of Jesus or the spirit of the world. Take some time this week to read Galatians 5:16-26 and examine your heart in light of the contrast! Then may we each lift up to God one of the simplest, yet greatest prayers in all of scripture:

Search me, O God,

and know my heart:

try me,

and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Amen and Amen!!!

Compassion Or Cherry Bombs??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #394

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Bible Ballistics: BBs  #394 Compassion Or Cherry Bombs???

 

Due to the urgent needs all around us, I’d like to continue today talking about compassion, what it is and what it isn’t (Or rather, what it shouldn’t be!). James talks about one of the things that compassion isn’t; it isn’t just nice words:

If a brother or sister be naked,

and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them,

Depart in peace,

be ye warmed and filled;

notwithstanding ye give them not

those things which are needful

to the body;

what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith,

if it hath not works,

is dead,

being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say,

Thou hast faith,

and I have works:

shew me thy faith without thy works,

and I will shew thee my faith

by my works.” James 2:15-18

Simply put, James is saying that if we have real life-changing faith, it will be seen in our responses to others and their needs. We are not to simply “say” we have compassion, we are to reach out as we talked about last time. Giving ‘Lip-service’ and speak compassionately, isn’t enough; we are to alleviate needs as we are able to. No we can’t meet every need, for everyone, in every way all the time, but God will show us how we can help, if we will but ask for His direction, and listen to His Spirit; sometimes that is just helping someone find the right resources to meet their need.

But there’s something else that compassion isn’t, and that’s ‘grand-standing’! If you’re wondering about our title today, what I want us to consider, is that we ought to have compassion on others and meet needs humbly and generously as we have opportunity, but never for show! Some of us can remember a time when young schoolboys would try sneaking cherry bombs (a small firework that requires no fire, just pop them on the ground and they make a loud bang) into the school. The result was usually loud and mostly comical, but the culprit always made a trip to the principal’s office for appropriate discipline, for they were dangerous to use in enclosed settings like school! But they certainly stole the show, for a few minutes anyway! Some people give just to be seen, or to be noticed or lauded for their deeds. Jesus gives clearly defines appropriate giving and true compassion, as well as the false. Let’s dig in to see what we can learn (‘alms’ is a reference to good works)!

Take heed that ye do not your alms

before men,

to be seen of them:

otherwise ye have no reward

of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms,

do not sound a trumpet before thee,

as the hypocrites do

in the synagogues

and in the streets,

that they may have glory

of men.

Verily I say unto you,

They have their reward.

3 But when thou doest alms,

let not thy left hand know

what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret:

and thy Father which seeth in secret

himself shall reward thee

openly.” Matthew 6:1-4

Jesus calls us to a higher standard, to give selflessly without thought of attention or earthly reward. We are to exercise our compassion before “God” without seeking the praise of others. This doesn’t mean that we have to do everything anonymously, but it does mean we are to do things discreetly, without calling attention to ourselves or the gift given. Sometimes it is appropriate to give anonymously, other times it’s necessary to reveal ourselves, but always with humility, without seeking reward or recognition. We could carry this to great depths, but suffice it to say, we are to have pure hearts before God, remembering as we saw in our last post, people won’t always like those of us who are following Jesus; for we are often marching to the beat of a different drummer; the One which the world rejects.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16

As the crises seem to multiply exponentially, may our compassion also grow by God’s grace, as we reach out to others humbly, without pride or the desire to be recognized for our deeds? May we be the hands and feet of Jesus to a lost world, as we give, and go and serve in Jesus name!

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”   Matthew 6:19-21

Go—-See—–Serve others humbly in HIS Name!

Compassionate But Not Blinded!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #393

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Bible Ballistics: BBs  #393 Compassionate But Not Blinded!!!

 

For the LORD shall be thy confidence,

and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

27 Withhold not good

from them

to whom it is due,

when it is in the power

of thine hand to do it.” Proverbs 3:26-27

We are inundated with requests for ‘money’, ‘aid’, ‘help’, and ‘contributions’ for those in need; so what are we to do? We obviously can’t meet every need, or give to everyone that sends us a request in the mail to donate to their ‘cause’. So what standard of our giving are we to exercise? While we can’t answer that question in depth here today, I’d like to just share a few biblical principles of giving, and some insight that I have gained through the years that has helped me in trying to give wisely.

The verses above compel us first of all to make sure our confidence is in The Lord God Almighty, and His Son Jesus! And as verse 5-6 of this same chapter of Proverbs reminds us He will “direct thy paths” when we trust Him and “acknowledge him” in “all” our ways (including giving) rather than our own human understanding. He has promised to direct our steps, and through His Word to “light” our path, our part is to seek Him through His Word, and then listen to His Spirit’s direction in our daily lives. We are compelled to not “withhold” good to those who truly have needs, “when it is in the power of thine hand to do it”! Simply put God is telling us that we can only give what we have—we can’t give what we don’t have; but we are to care about others and share what we do have as we are given opportunity. But that doesn’t mean we are to give blindly to everyone who asks.

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.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

All the while remembering what Jesus warned us of:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16

Jesus warned us that He was sending out as “sheep in the midst of wolves”, and believe me friends; there are many out there ‘asking’ who are simply asking for themselves—their only goal is to ‘fleece the sheep’! It is our job to be wise in our giving—not stingy, or resentful—but wisely generous. That means you need to know who you are giving to—anyone can go online and see the financial structure of most charitable organizations; to see what percentage of the money received actually goes to the intended recipients, and how they compensate their leadership! I do not give to very many “mainstream” national organizations, particularly those most widely promoted in the media, because if you’ll check out their financial structure they have very high-paid upper echelon leadership, and often times they are totally rude and crude to the grass-roots organizations who are actually in the front lines of the battle meeting needs. I’ve seen it and while this isn’t a smear campaign against any organization, you just need to do your “homework” before you give.

What I counsel people who ask me, is to check out your denominational organization to see if they have a “disaster relief” arm that will funnel the contributions directly through local churches to meet the most urgent local needs. The other organization that I recommend most is the Salvation Army, who have done great works of ministry for over 100 years, and even their upper level administrators live on a modest and reasonable salary, not the outrageous and unreal salaries that many of the mainstream organizations try to justify, at the givers expense.

We are to give willingly, as we are able, and with a cheerful heart, not because we “have” more but because we “have” something to give, and because we recognize that we are giving to others “as unto the Lord”! So as you see all the needs around us in this time of crises on every hand, be kind, generous and compassionate—but also be wise and harmless.

And just a side note, as a personal testimony of why I believe “local” is almost always the best way to go, rather than through the ‘national’ level or the ‘government’, I’ll share just a brief account of my experiences in this regard.

I went through Hurricane Camille in 1969 (at the time, the worst storm on record prior to Katrina) on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. There was horrific devastation all across the coast and for miles inland. There were hundreds of tornados spawned out of the storm, as well as record setting flooding in places never affected by floods before. While that seems like ages ago, in a different time in history, everyone who could help did! And the majority of help came through the local churches that were the distribution points for most of the residents of the area. The major ‘national’ organizations were more concerned with paper work, and judging whom they deemed worthy of their help, while the churches were busy trying to alleviate the needs and shortages of everything from food to clothes, from linens to staples, and everything in between. There weren’t “FEMA” provisions, only low interest loans to those who were wiped out without recourse. I personally have never given one thin dime to the major national relief organizations since that day. I give to grass-roots organizations that use the funds they receive to meet needs, not line their own pockets and increase their public “image”, because if you’ve ever been on the front lines of disasters of these unbelievable proportions, you know who does the work.

And while I didn’t go through Katrina, three of my children did, and once again it was the local churches and grass-roots organizations that met the needs. I can say from personal knowledge that there was hardly a local church that had a useable structure left standing, that didn’t use those buildings to house, feed and coordinate recovery efforts for the people of the Gulf Coast long after the “glory seekers” were gone (some for more than a year!). Many of those churches were staging areas and dormitories for those who came in through individual denominations and organizations to clean up mud, remove debris, minister to those who were hurting, rebuild homes for those who had but lost it all because they had no ‘flood insurance’. I saw people reaching out to people, taking pillows and stuffed animals to schools so the children could have something that was ‘theirs’, when so many of them had nothing! I saw these groups take people to the stores and purchase their appliances, furniture and other basic needs once their dwellings were ready to live in. And not one red government dollar was involved in all of this, but did you hear about it? NO! Because it wasn’t being done for show! You didn’t hear about it unless you were there and saw what went on in those ‘staging areas’ in hundreds of churches across the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Louisiana. Yes, I’m passionate about helping others, but I’m also passionate about every follower of Jesus Christ who gives being informed in their giving!!!

So my challenge to you today is to give, YES—but be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” and know who you’re giving to and what they’re doing with your funds. And pray, pray, pray for those in harms way, and for God to please “deliver us from evil” in this ‘evil day’!

Check Your Knees??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No. 9

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No.9 Check Your Knees???

 

One of my favorite passages about Jesus is found in Philippians chapter 2, where Paul calls us to have the mind of Christ; and the only way that anyone can have the mind of Christ Jesus, is to be ‘born again” by the Spirit and power of God.

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.” John 1:10-13

Jesus came to impart the “new birth”, just as He told Nicodemus in John 3:

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God.”    John 3:3b

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born of water

and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter

into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh

is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit

is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee,

Ye must be born again.”   John 3:5b-7

Jesus wants us to understand that salvation isn’t something that we can accomplish for ourselves—no matter how hard we may try. Salvation only come to those who will see their own sin, and come to the Savior for this ‘new birth’ of salvation. Just as we see above, it is being “born… …of God.” It’s not what family you are born in; it’s not by working up the will to change; and it’s not brought by the will of others; it is the supernatural work of God that changes sinners into saints!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Some of you are asking, “What does this have to do with my knees?” Well, that’s a good question and the answer is found in the first passage that we mentioned at the beginning of our post today. Let’s dig in and see what we can learn about out knees, and why they are important to our spiritual welfare.

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.”     Philippians 2:5-11

So what is Paul telling us? Well, let’s start at the end of the passage if you would, for as we’ve already said, without being born again it’s a moot issue, but what must we do to come to Jesus for this new birth. It’s really simple, but it’s never easy, because it’s never easy to give up our own will and bow to Jesus. Jesus came and laid down His life for our sin when He “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Just as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 God sent Him to die as the sinless Lamb of God, to pay for our sin, so that we could receive the “righteousness of God” and be found IN Him!

And because of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, God has given “him a name which is above every name”; and that name requires a response—a response that involves YOUR knees and mine.

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”!!!

I need to make something clear in all of this, God has declared, “every knee should bow” and believe me (well really you need to believe GOD!) “every kneewill bow, and “every tonguewill confess. But wait, not everyone is confessing Jesus, and certainly not every knee has bowed before Him! Well, what we need to realize is that the time is coming when it will happen! So, if it is going to happen, what is the question? The question isn’t “Will you bow?” But the question is ‘When will you bow?’ What am I talking about? I am talking about the fact that

God has declared His way to the world:

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 3:16-19

Jesus came because He loves us—He loves the world—and He IS The Way for us to be forgiven of our sin and have eternal life. And while God’s love is unconditional—He loves everyone—His forgiveness is totally conditional on what we do with Jesus, The Son of God, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” It is what Jesus came to do, and unless we bow before Him as Lord and Savior while we have the opportunity, we will bow before Him as the judge of all men, with no opportunity of salvation!

So the question is simply, will we choose to bow before the Lord who died for our sin, and receive His salvation and the ‘new birth’ and be ‘born again’? Or will we refuse Him and His saving sacrifice and grace and bow before the “Great White Throne” to pay for our own sin? What have you done with Jesus? Have you bowed your knee before Him? Jesus won’t ask what church you belong to; He won’t ask how many times or where you were baptized; He won’t ask how much ‘good’ you have done; He won’t even ask what ‘bad’ you have done, for He already knows the answer to all those questions. The only question that will be asked is “What have you done with Jesus, and His sacrifice for your sin?” And regardless of what others may think of you, the only thing that will matter is whether you have bowed before the Lamb of God, for no matter how impressed others are with you, it’s what Jesus knows that will count in the end. His name calls for all to bow the knee and proclaim HIM LORD, and the standard is The Word of God—the written Word, the Bible, and the Living Word, Jesus!

For the word of God is

quick, (alive)

and powerful,

and sharper than any twoedged sword,

piercing even to the dividing asunder

of soul

and spirit,

and of the joints

and marrow,

and is a discerner

of the thoughts and intents

of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature

that is not manifest in his sight:

but all things are naked and opened

unto the eyes of him

with whom we have to do.”    Hebrews 4:12-13

The measuring stick will be The Word of God! How will you stand? What will be your defense—your works, your money, your prominence, your history, your family, your open mind, your position, or something else? It won’t matter, for the only defense in that day will be the “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son” that “cleanseth us from all sin” (See 1 John 1:7)! Will you bow your knees now or then? Your eternity depends on your choice.

Not every one that saith unto me,

Lord, Lord,

shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;

but he that doeth the will of my Father

which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me

in that day,

Lord, Lord,

have we not prophesied in thy name?

and in thy name have cast out devils?

and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them,

I never knew you:

depart from me,

ye that work iniquity.

24 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 7:21-27

You can choose to be ‘wise’ and have your house built on the rock of salvation; the One before whom you have bowed your heart and mind in repentance (of your sin), and faith (in His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for YOU!), or you can choose to be like the ‘foolish man! It’s your choice. But choose wisely, there is a test at the end.

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

Praying that you will seek God and His way—Jesus, He’s waiting for YOU!!! And if you know Him—let it shine!!!

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

 

‘Dis’Traction Is No ‘Traction’??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #392

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Bible Ballistics: BBs  #392 ‘Dis’Traction Is No ‘Traction’???

 

I thought we’d take this Friday and remind ourselves to watch out for the “distractions” of the world, for when we get side-tracked by the distractions of the world, we wind up with ‘No Traction” spiritually. And when we aren’t going forward with Jesus we are not standing still, we are loosing ground. And God calls us to press onward not backward!

Brethren,

I count not myself to have apprehended:

but this one thing I do,

forgetting those things

which are behind,

and reaching forth unto those things

which are before,

14 I press toward the mark

for the prize

of the high calling of God

in Christ Jesus.

15 Let us therefore,

as many as be perfect, (mature)

be thus minded:

and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded,

God shall reveal even this unto you.

16 Nevertheless,

whereto we have already attained,

let us walk by the same rule,

let us mind the same thing.”    Philippians 3:13-16

One of the big things that I believe that Paul is telling us today, is that if we will heed The Word, and learn how to walk with and before our God, we are to “keep up the good work!” We are to persevere in His ways.

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”    Luke 18:1

We are often cautioned in the scripture to willfully press on, without distraction, keeping our eyes on Jesus—HE is our purpose! He will supply all we need to not “faint”!

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

This is one of my favorite passages of scripture; for it reminds us so clearly that our goal is to follow Jesus. I don’t believe (as some do, and that’s ok) that this is the picture of a great sports arena in heaven, and the saints are sitting around cheering us on; rather I believe this is a summation of chapter 11 (The great chapter of faith!), reminding us that as those who have gone before us have been faithful, and have testified to the faithfulness of God, we are also to press on with no distractions, but rather “Looking unto Jesus”! And we can only do that when we determine to not be ‘distracted’ and loose our traction—not to loose our footing in the race. And, as the author of Hebrews so clearly reminds us, we are to run “the race that is set before us” with our hearts and minds “Looking unto Jesus”, not being distracted by the race that others may be running or any other distractions around us. We keep our traction by focusing on Jesus and running ‘our’ race in ‘our’ own lane!!!

We can do that all because Jesus isthe author and finisher of our faith”! He brings us to Himself, and He provides all that we need to run the race that HE has “set before us”! So take heart my friends, we serve the God who is able and faithful to supply our every need, if we’ll but keep our eyes ‘fixed on Jesus’! He is our ‘true’ north!

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

He is “the author and finisher of our faith”; He knows where you are today. Look up, press on, and walk forward on your race—with ‘traction’ not ‘dis’tractions! God has a job for YOU—today! Go for it dear one—Go for it!!!

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 6:9-10

You can do it!!! It’s hardly ever easy:

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”    Philippians 4:19