By HIS Grace We Live And Breathe??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #588

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #588   By HIS Grace We Live And Breathe???

 

For in him

we live,

and move,

and have our being;

as certain also of your own poets have said,

For we are also his offspring.”    Acts 17:28

Paul’s message here was to the Athenians, as he shared the gospel of Jesus with them, seeking to bring them to Jesus.  For Jesus is our hope in all things, and just as Paul shared the truth of the resurrection and was rejected by these who were attentive to his teaching until he proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus, we too must stand by the truth of Jesus’ substitutionary, atoning, sacrifice for our sin, and His glorious resurrection from the dead, knowing that HE has won the victory over life and death—and IN HIM, we have that same victory!

Now this I say, brethren,

that flesh and blood

cannot inherit the kingdom of God;

neither doth corruption

inherit incorruption.

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery;

We shall not all sleep,

but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment,

in the twinkling of an eye,

at the last trump:

for the trumpet shall sound,

and the dead shall be raised

incorruptible,

and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible

must put on incorruption,

and this mortal

must put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible

shall have put on incorruption,

and this mortal

shall have put on immortality,

then shall be brought to pass the saying

that is written,

Death is swallowed up in victory.

55 O death, where is thy sting?

O grave, where is thy victory?

56 The sting of death

is sin;

and the strength of sin

is the law.

57 But thanks be to God,

which giveth us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:50-57 Amen!

I know this is a bit lengthy, but I just want to remind each of us that our hope is in JESUS, our soon coming King!  And while the storms and turmoil may rage around us continually—our Lord God Almighty and Jesus Christ HIS Son, still reign. GOD is on His throne.  We win—IN HIM!  And just for good measure another reminder from Paul, that it is by God’s grace that we have been saved—we didn’t earn it, we can’t be good enough to get it or keep it—but by HIS grace we can live victorious lives of faith and usefulness to our GOD, IN JESUS!

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.

3 And not only so,

but we glory in tribulations also:

knowing that tribulation

worketh patience;

4 And patience,

experience;

and experience,

hope:

5 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.

6 For when we were yet without strength,

in due time

Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God

commendeth his love

toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

9 Much more then,

being now justified by his blood,

we shall be saved

from wrath

through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies,

we were reconciled to God

by the death of his Son,

much more, being reconciled,

we shall be saved

by his life.

11 And not only so,

but we also joy

in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom

we have now received

the atonement.”   Romans 5:1-11

I’ll simply say Amen and Amen and pray that blessings will abound around you (and remember, just because you don’t recognize them, doesn’t mean that they’re not there!). Amen!

So being affectionately desirous of you,

we were willing to have imparted unto you,

not the gospel of God only,

but also our own souls,

because ye were dear unto us.”    1 Thessalonians 2:8

From my heart to yours!  Amen!

 

 

Dents, Dings, And Delicatessens??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 05

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Bible Ballistics: Vol.14 No.05 Dents, Dings, And Delicatessens???

 

I know some of you are wondering what this has to do with our Christian life; others of you who know me better, know that I’ll sure try to make it relevant to our daily living; if I don’t, then I’m not really fulfilling my goal and passion of sharing biblical sustenance with hungry people—believers or not–for believers, because many don’t have a steady diet of biblical truth; for unbelievers, praying that they may be drawn to Jesus! For when it is all said and done, without Jesus, the resurrected Lord of glory, there is no hope! Paul said it so clearly and concisely!

And if Christ be not raised,

your faith is vain;

ye are yet in your sins.

18 Then they also

which are fallen asleep in Christ

are perished.

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ,

we are of all men most miserable.

20 But now is Christ risen

from the dead,

and become the firstfruits

of them that slept.”    1 Corinthians 15:17-20

Jesus is our hope, our joy, and our rejoicing—for without Him we have no ‘hope of glory’, heaven, or eternal life!

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ

by the commandment

of God

our Saviour,

and Lord Jesus Christ,

which is our hope;

2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith:

Grace,

mercy,

and peace,

from God our Father

and Jesus Christ our Lord.”  1 Timothy 1:1-2

We can have hope when we look to Christ Jesus in all things; He is our hope both past, present and future!  How about you, is HE your hope?  Paul gives us a beautiful picture of living by faith in his letter to the Colossian believers:

But now ye also

put off all these;

anger,

wrath,

malice,

 blasphemy,

filthy communication out of your mouth.

9 Lie not one to another,

seeing that ye have put off the old man

with his deeds;

10 And have put on the new man,

which is renewed in knowledge

after the image of him

that created him:

11 Where there is neither

Greek nor Jew,

circumcision nor uncircumcision,

Barbarian, Scythian,

bond nor free:

but Christ is all,

and in all.

12 Put on therefore,

as the elect of God,

holy and beloved,

bowels of mercies,

kindness,

humbleness of mind,

meekness,

longsuffering;

13 Forbearing one another,

and forgiving one another,

if any man have a quarrel against any:

even as Christ forgave you,

so also do ye.

14 And above all these things

put on charity,

which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God

rule in your hearts,

to the which also ye are called

in one body;

and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ

dwell in you richly (be at home in you!)

in all wisdom;

teaching

and admonishing one another

in psalms

and hymns

and spiritual songs,

 singing with grace in your hearts

to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do

in word

or deed,

do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God and the Father

 by him.” Colossians 3:8-17

 

Are we living our lives for Jesus in this manner? Or are we so soft, spiritually speaking, that any little thing can keep us from our Lord, from His Word, from His ways, from His principles and expectations?  It seems that all around us people claim the name of Jesus, but have no regard for who HE IS, what HE says, or what HE has called His followers to be and do (and remember, being always precedes doing!)!  We seem to be more concerned about taking care of our new car, than we are about maintaining our testimony for Jesus.  We’ll park a mile away from the door to keep from having someone ding our car; but we’ll get as close to sin as we can, thinking that we can ‘handle’ it.  All the while, letting our intimacy with Jesus slip away!  We’ll be sure and have any little dent in our car or truck buffed out, painted over, or do whatever it takes to fix it and keep it looking new; but what about our walk with Jesus?  We are often more concerned about the appearance of our vehicle, or our wardrobe than about our appearance and testimony before a word that is in desperate need of real, genuine, holy followers of Jesus, those who are truly taking up their “cross” and following HIM!   Are you taking up the cross or hiding your connection to it?

Then said Jesus unto his disciples,

If any man will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it:

and whosoever will lose his life

for my sake

shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

 or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?”   Matthew 16:24-26

It saddens me that sometimes when I go to church, I see the same immodest (to say the least) attire that I see out in the world. I see just as many bosoms, bulges, and bottoms as I see out in the world!  I just can’t believe that it ought to be this way!

I will therefore that men pray

every where,

lifting up holy hands,

without wrath

and doubting.

9 In like manner also,

that women adorn themselves

in modest apparel,

with shamefacedness

and sobriety;

not with broided hair,

or gold,

or pearls,

or costly array;

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness)

with good works.”   1 Timothy 2:8-10

In other words, God isn’t going to judge our “bling” but our “godliness’!

Likewise, ye wives,

be in subjection to your own husbands;

 that, if any obey not the word,

they also may

without the word

be won by the conversation

of the wives;

2 While they behold your

chaste conversation

coupled with fear.

3 Whose adorning let it not be

that outward adorning

of plaiting the hair,

and of wearing of gold,

or of putting on of apparel;

4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart,

in that which is not corruptible,

even the ornament

of a meek and quiet spirit,

which is in the sight of God

of great price,”  1 Peter 3:1-4

Why are we more willing to follow the passions, patterns, and popular fashions of the world, than to be godly women, committed to being a reflection of our Lord in all holiness?  I, for one, pray that my heart will be set on the call of God, rather than the call of the world.  Yet, it’s not just women, the men have a calling as well.  And it’s not to be harsh, selfish, and fixed on the biggest ‘toys’ on the lot!  Peter goes on to call men to holiness, reminding us all that we answer to a higher call than that of the world’s fashion, fad or fickle passions.  We are called to godly faithfulness in our marriages, our outside interactions, and our hearts desires—male and female!

Likewise, ye husbands,

dwell with them according to knowledge,

giving honour unto the wife,

as unto the weaker vessel,

and as being heirs together

of the grace of life;

that your prayers be not hindered.

8 Finally, be ye all

of one mind,

having compassion one of another,

love as brethren,

be pitiful,

be courteous:

9 Not rendering evil for evil,

or railing for railing:

but contrariwise

blessing;

knowing that ye are

thereunto called,

that ye should inherit a blessing.

10 For he that will love life,

and see good days,

let him refrain his tongue

from evil,

and his lips

that they speak no guile:

11 Let him eschew evil,

and do good;

let him seek peace,

and ensue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord

are over the righteous,

and his ears

are open unto their prayers:

but the face of the Lord

is against them that do evil.”   1 Peter 3:7-12

If I may speak to the men, God called you to be the spiritual leaders of your homes, yet we live in a culture when Satan is wreaking havoc in families all around us.  Men are throwing away their families –and women too—for the pleasures of “sin for a season”!  And then we wonder why our families, our children, our homes are falling apart.  One reason is that we have bought into the popular “ME” culture, and if our marriage has a ‘ding’, or a ‘dent’ we just ‘trade up’ for a newer, better, younger, or more ‘suitable’ (in our eyes) person.  Or even more often, we just “shack up”, as my momma used to call it, rather than pursuing a godly commitment to the covenant of marriage.  Without a strong priority for marriage, our homes will continue to fall apart—scarring our children along the way.  (And please understand that I speak this with a heavy heart, for I bought the lies many years ago and caused harm to so many, including my own children! Choices that I have repented of, sought the forgiveness of others, and tried to make amends where I could.  But like the story goes of the little boy who did hurtful things, and his father gave him a pillow and told him to scatter the feathers all over town.  The next day he gave the boy the pillow cover and told him to go and retrieve the feathers. The boy came home with only a small amount of the feathers in the cover, and told the dad, “I couldn’t find any more feathers.”  To which his father replied, “That’s how it is with our words, and our actions, when we say or do harmful things!  We can never go back and totally erase the damage that we have done?  So, you need to be more careful about your choices!” And that story still teaches an important principle today!). God’s commentary is an oft ignored commentary, but still as true as when He spoke it; and the heart of America is much like the heart of Israel to whom Malachi spoke—and just FYI, putting away is a reference to divorce. (Referring to causeless divorce—there are biblical grounds for divorce, but they are for the protection of the innocent, not for the convenience or whims of greedy, lustful men and women!)

And did not he make one?

Yet had he the residue of the spirit.

And wherefore one?

That he might seek a godly seed.

Therefore take heed to your spirit,

and let none deal treacherously

against the wife of his youth.

16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith

that he hateth putting away:

for one covereth violence

with his garment,

saith the LORD of hosts:

therefore take heed to your spirit,

that ye deal not treacherously.

17 Ye have wearied the LORD

with your words.

Yet ye say,

Wherein have we wearied him?

When ye say,

Every one that doeth evil

is good in the sight of the LORD,

and he delighteth in them;

or, Where is the God of judgment?”    Malachi 2:15-17

Some of you are saying, “Ok, Blanche, we’ve talked about dents and dings, what about the delicatessen?”  Well, it has to do with something I’ve been teaching in my Bible study class on Revelation.  But first I want us to see that we have all in Jesus; we have His provision for our salvation, all because HE loved us first, and calls us to follow His example rather than live delicatessen style.

We love him,

because he first loved us.”  1 John 4:19

I love delicatessens, we have a new one near our home, and I love to go in and get those ooey, gooey sandwiches and just pick the meat and cheese that I like!  And that’s how many today are claiming to follow Jesus—they pick and choose which parts of His Word they want to accept, follow and yield to!  I pray that we will see the error of our ways, repent of our sin (whether we are believers or unbelievers, for even genuine children of God sin—see 1 John 1:9+), and follow Him faithfully and obediently.

The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

I am come

that they might have life,

and that they might have it

more abundantly.

11 I am

the good shepherd:

the good shepherd

giveth his life

for the sheep.”   John 10:10-11

 

Are you following the ‘thief’ or the “good shepherd”?  He repairs dings, dents and helps us choose wisely in all we do, whereas the thief will lie to you and steal your soul, your life and your loved ones!  Don’t let him—look to Jesus instead!

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.

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.

15 John bare witness of him,

and cried, saying,

This was he of whom I spake,

He that cometh after me

is preferred before me:

for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness

have all we received,

and grace for grace.”  John 1:10-16

I would like to bring this to a close with the warning that God gives to the world in the last days—and while we aren’t in ‘the last of the last’ we are closer than we think, in my humble opinion.  It hit me this week as I was studying and working on my lesson, that we live in a world controlled by lusts and passions for the “delicacies” of the world (Babylon being, at the least, a reference to the worldly order).

For all nations have drunk

of the wine

 of the wrath

of her fornication,

and the kings of the earth

have committed fornication with her,

and the merchants of the earth

are waxed rich

through the abundance of her delicacies.

4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying,

Come out of her,

my people,

that ye be not partakers of her sins,

and that ye receive not

of her plagues. ..

… 14 And the fruits

that thy soul lusted after

are departed from thee,

and all things

which were dainty

and goodly

are departed from thee,

and thou shalt find them

no more at all…

..18 And the fruits

that thy soul lusted after

are departed from thee,

and all things

which were dainty

and goodly

are departed from thee,

and thou shalt find them

no more at all..

….22….for by thy sorceries

were all nations deceived.”    Portions of Revelation 18:3-22

I pray that God speaks to our hearts, opens our eyes to see what HE sees, and leads us to be men and women of godly faithfulness before a lost and dying world, for time is short!  Amen and Amen!

Living Faithfully TODAY??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #587

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #587   Living Faithfully TODAY???

 

Boast not thyself

of to morrow;

for thou knowest not

what a day may bring forth.”  Proverbs 27:1

Sometimes we get so focused on ‘tomorrow’ that we forget that we are called to live today!  Not one of us knows what tomorrow may bring, and this is heavy on my heart this morning because we had a tragic accident this week in our community, and it took the life of a fine young man; one who God sent into my life many years ago—and he will be missed sorely.  Yet the thing I hope that we will receive in this time of sorrow, is the urgency of the “hour”; that is to say, it is so important to live today!  Smell the flowers, pass along that kindness, share something with those close to you that only YOU can share, make a difference at every opportunity God gives to you and me!

While we live in a culture that says, ‘spend today—pay tomorrow’, Jesus calls us to walk by faith and trust in HIM today and leave the “tomorrow” to HIM!  I really don’t have much to share other than the power of God’s Word!

Therefore take no thought, saying,

What shall we eat?

or, What shall we drink?

or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things

do the Gentiles seek:)

for your heavenly Father knoweth

that ye have need

of all these things.

33 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 6:31-34

Jesus isn’t saying to be unprepared, but to trust Him in every thing that we do!  While it seems a simplistic way to live, it is the life that God calls us to live (and I’m not saying that I always do it well, but we are to pursue God’s ways, even when we don’t understand what’s going on around us—and in our world that’s pretty often!) and I pray that we will humble ourselves before Him, pursuing Him in all we do!  It is a pursuit that will bring hope, confidence, and joy to our own hearts as well as to those we are given the opportunity to encourage and help!

O death,

where is thy sting?

O grave,

where is thy victory?

56 The sting of death is sin;

and the strength of sin is the law.

57 But thanks be to God,

which giveth us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren,

be ye stedfast,

unmoveable,

always abounding

in the work of the Lord,

forasmuch as ye know

that your labour

is not in vain

in the Lord.”   1 Corinthians 15:54-58

And one of my favorite passages (which those of you who follow my writings have seen before—because it is ever true, and we need to be reminded!):

Let your conversation

be without covetousness;

and be content

with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee,

nor forsake thee.

6 So that we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not fear

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

I pray that God will comfort the hurting and grieving, that He will use those of us around them to encourage, help and minister God’s comfort and hope at every opportunity that He places before us.  And if you are grieving, please know that we on the perimeter are praying for you, and God is the greatest ‘heart healer’!

Blessed be God,

 even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of mercies,

and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us

in all our tribulation,

that we may be able to comfort them

which are in any trouble,

by the comfort wherewith we ourselves

are comforted of God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us,

so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”    2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Amen and Amen!

A Giver Or A Taker??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #586

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #586   A Giver Or A Taker???

 

We live in a culture of “gimme’, gimme’, gimme’! It seems that almost everyone wants ‘something for nothing’; everyone wants all they can get for as little as they can do.  As my husband is often heard to say about this mind set, “Get all you can, can all you get, and sit on the can!”  But as followers of Jesus, we’ve been called to a higher standard!  I’d like to simply share a few thoughts with you today to remind us of the biblical perspective of ‘stuff’.

Give,

and it shall be given unto you;

good measure,

pressed down,

and shaken together,

and running over,

shall men give into your bosom.

For with the same measure that ye mete

withal it shall be measured

to you again.”  Luke 6:38

Jesus said our giving is to be at the least, abundant; but some today teach that we are to give in order to ‘get’ these blessings that Jesus described.  I don’t think so.  We are to give because Jesus gave HIS all for us.  Paul talks about this in his letter to the Ephesians.

Let him that stole

steal no more:

but rather let him labour,

working with his hands

the thing which is good,

that he may have

to give

to him that needeth.”   Ephesians 4:38

Paul calls believers to work with their hands (or their minds) to earn a living that they may be able to share with those in need, not to ‘get more’ from God or others, but to be a blessing to those in need. Paul covers that most profoundly in his comments on love—he seems to say that if we “give to get” we are not acting in love but greed, and that nullifies our efforts!  You decide (and you might want to take some time and read this whole chapter!).

And though I bestow all my goods

to feed the poor,

and though I give my body

to be burned,

and have not charity,

it profiteth me nothing.”  1 Corinthians 13:3

Paul also has more to say about the attitude of givers and reminds us that it’s not the amount we give, but the heart with which we give.  And takers—well they’re ‘taken’ care of themselves! (pun intended)

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:

9 (As it is written,

He hath dispersed abroad;

he hath given to the poor:

his righteousness remaineth for ever.

10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower

both minister bread for your food,

and multiply your seed sown,

and increase the fruits

of your righteousness;)”.   2 Corinthians 9:6-10

And here’s the message for ‘takers’!

Mortify therefore your members

which are upon the earth;

fornication,

uncleanness,

inordinate affection,

evil concupiscence,

and covetousness,

which is idolatry:

6 For which things’ sake

the wrath of God

cometh on the children of disobedience:

7 In the which ye also walked

some time,

when ye lived in them.”   Colossians 3:5-7

Let’s measure our giving and taking by God’s standard!  Have a blessed day of giving as we purpose “in our heart”, to please our Father as we bless and minister to those He places in our path!

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

Who’s Trampling Who??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 04

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 04   Who’s Trampling Who???

 

Having therefore, brethren,

boldness to enter into the holiest

by the blood of Jesus,

20 By a new and living way,

which he hath consecrated

for us,

through the veil,

that is to say,

his flesh…

…22 Let us draw near

with a true heart

in full assurance

of faith,

having our hearts sprinkled

from an evil conscience,

and our bodies washed

with pure water.

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith

without wavering;

(for he is faithful that promised;)

24 And let us consider one another

to provoke unto love

and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling

of ourselves together,

 as the manner of some is;

but exhorting one another:

and so much the more,

as ye see the day approaching…

….29 Of how much sorer punishment,

suppose ye,

shall he be thought worthy,

who hath trodden under foot

the Son of God,

and hath counted the blood of the covenant,

wherewith he was sanctified,

an unholy thing,

 and hath done despite

unto the Spirit of grace?”    Portions of Hebrews 10:19-29

My heart is burdened for a world going to “hell in a hand-basket”, and a church that seems to be caving to the culture, rather than calling believers to live, what C. S. Lewis called, lives of “piety”; a reverence for God, and a devout fulfillment of (what a person sees as) an obligation of love to his/her religious beliefs (Our Lord Jesus and His Word!).  In other words, a complete devotion to being right with God, doing right before God and man, and making an impact on the world, whether they realize it or not!  (For the world is waiting for the Righteous to live Righteously—to be salt and light to draw the lost to a faithful Redeemer!). Yet we live in a time when many who claim the name of Jesus live their lives in complete disregard to the Lord whose name they claim; who spend their time, energy, resources and efforts living it up, drinking it up, lusting it up, shacking up, lying it up, mocking and ridiculing those who continue to hold up the standard of holy  living! Now, I understand that Jesus has given us freedom to exercise our beliefs and convictions as we see fit; but when what many seem to ‘see fit’ is in direct conflict to The Word of God, it’s time to take a stand with grace, firmness and love—but we must take a stand!

The author of Hebrews strongly reminds us that our lives are to be ordered in holiness because a “Holy” price has been paid for our salvation, “by the blood of Jesus”! And earlier in the book, he also tells us that we can have confidence in our access to Him, the One whose blood bought our salvation—our heavenly intercessor (See Hebrews 7:25)!

Seeing then that we have a great high priest,

that is passed into the heavens,

Jesus the Son of God,

let us hold fast our profession.

15 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 4:14-16

I love this passage, and I run to it often, yet today I see so many run to other things; they don’t practice spiritual boldness and confidence in the One they profess to love, but arrogantly use His name for their own purposes, to excuse their sin, or saying that “Jesus will forgive me”!  And that is true, but while God’s love is totally unconditional, His forgiveness is not!

If we say that we have no sin,

we deceive ourselves,

and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins,

he is faithful

and just

to forgive us our sins,

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned,

we make him a liar,

and his word is not in us.”  1 John 1:8-10

Here we find that Jesus can, will and does forgive those who face their own personal sin and failure—AS SIN!  He also says that when we continue to claim that our choices are not sin, we “deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”…“his word is not in us”!  But John so graciously holds out the scepter of hope—if we will but “confess our sins”, Jesus will faithfully, willingly, lovingly respond to our humble confrontation of our own sin for “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins”—but praise God HE doesn’t stop there; HE goes on to tell us that not only will He extend his forgiveness to the repentant, but HE will also, “cleanse us from all unrighteousness”—He will help us to overcome our selfish, worldly, and holiness-defeating (my own new word!) choices and actions! Hallelujah!  Praise God—Jesus will cleanse us from all unrighteousness”!  Did you get that—”from all unrighteousness”—Jesus wants to cleanse us from all our SIN and failures!  John is talking to believers!  That’s you/me, we who follow HIM, we who belong to HIM!

But don’t miss that last phrase, for John also warns us that those who continually claim the name of Jesus and live like the devil may have a different problem:

If we say that we have not sinned,

we make him a liar,

and his word is not in us”!

If we have Jesus we do have “The Word” in us in the form of Jesus’ Holy Spirit, who transforms God’s own (genuine believers) into the image of Jesus!  Paul addresses this issue most clearly!

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.”   Romans 8:9

And back to Hebrews, we also see that “saying so, doesn’t make it so”!

But if ye be without chastisement,

whereof all are partakers,

then are ye bastards,

and not sons.”   Hebrews 12:8

When we belong to Jesus and we sin, HE, through the power of The Holy Spirit, will discipline us, correcting, convicting, and bringing us to repentance and restoration.  Or there is another option for those who truly belong to Jesus yet refuse to be restored to usefulness and holiness; it’s a seldom mentioned statement, but it is as true as any other scripture.

If any man see his brother sin a sin

which is not unto death,

he shall ask,

and he shall give him life

for them that sin not unto death.

There is a sin unto death:

I do not say that he shall pray for it.

17 All unrighteousness is sin:

and there is a sin not unto death.”    1 John 5:16-17

It’s as if Jesus is saying to a believer who just won’t learn, if you won’t learn down there, I’ll just bring you home for some remedial classes (and I use this as example not as an assumption on scripture, but remember that GOD is the judge of ‘time limits’, so to speak, not us!).  But there is more that we need to consider, in regard to my phrase about “saying so doesn’t make it so”; Paul mentions it in passing in 1 Corinthians 15, and I think it worth our consideration.  Is your faith real or vain?  What commentary does your/my life make about our faith?  Only you/I can really answer that question, but it’s a question that we all need to ask ourselves; for there is a day coming when Jesus will require an answer!

Moreover, brethren,

I declare unto you the gospel

which I preached unto you,

which also ye have received,

and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved,

 if ye keep in memory

what I preached unto you,

unless ye have believed in vain.”    1 Corinthians 15:1-2

Jesus makes it clear, not only for those who claim His name, yet walk in the devil’s way, but also to those who live an imitation Christian life!

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 21 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.”   Matthew 7:20-23

Jesus didn’t stop there; He went on to use an example that we often disregard and write-off as a children’s song; but Jesus gives us a clear line of delineation—what foundation you choose to build your house (life) upon is important! There are two options, and while the houses may look alike on the outside (or not), it will become evident when the storms come (and they will come, for HE said they ‘would’ come, not ‘if’ they come!).

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine,

and doeth them,

I will liken him unto a wise man,

which built his house

upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell not:

for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine,

and doeth them not,

shall be likened unto a foolish man,

which built his house

 upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell:

and great was the fall of it.”   Matthew 7:24-27

What we “DO” is all dependent on Jesus, for each believer, every child of God!  That’s a fact!  It’s all about HIM not me!

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 15:5. Amen!

And to bring things together, let’s go back to Paul, who reminds us that we can ‘judge’ ourselves by God’s standard and stay on the “narrow” way, or we can excuse, cover-up, justify and lie about our life-choices, and God will judge!  The choice is yours, but choose wisely, there is a test!

For if we would judge ourselves,

we should not be judged.

32 But when we are judged,

we are chastened

of the Lord,

that we should not be condemned

with the world.”   1 Corinthians 11:31-32

(And just FYI, this passage is referring to believers living in an unworthy manner, receiving God’s judgment on their sin, not their souls.). I pray that God will convict our hearts and help each of us recognize our sin, repent, be forgiven and restored to the full use to our “vine” and see HIM bring much fruit out of our lives.  May we live as “iron sharpeneth iron” toward each other, not as rotten apples spreading corruption to everyone and everything we touch!   I would simply like to go back to our title today; are you trampling under-foot the blood of Jesus; the prayers and tears of a loved one who is still praying for you; the efforts of a friend who has called you to truth as you walk down that “broad” way to destruction; the call of The Holy Spirit on your heart?   Remember, Jesus gave His all for you/me, and if you go to Hell it will be over all these who have tried to stop you; and if you are a rebellious believer, the same is true for you—remember there is a “sin unto death” for the believer, not hell but a shortened opportunity to serve our LORD JESUS!!!

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 and Amen!!!