Watch MY Words, Really??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #439

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #439   Watch MY Words, Really???

 

We talk about the right to “Free Speech” in our country, and while we do have the “Freedom” of “Speech”, speech isn’t free. Speech comes with a cost! The words we choose to use—out loud—do have a cost: a cost to our relationships; a cost to the feelings of others; a cost to the influence that we bear and how it affects others–either for the good or for the worse; a cost of honor or shame; a cost of attention-be it good or bad attention. Yet our speech is often used without thought or regard for the effect of our words—we just don’t always ‘Think’ before we ‘speak’. So I’d just like us to take a few minutes this morning to remind ourselves to, as a favorite secular proverb says, “Watch your words, and keep them sweet, you never know, which ones you’ll eat!”

Our tongue can spread great joy and goodwill, or we can change the air around us with our lack of wisdom and self-control.

If any man among you

seem to be religious,

and bridleth not his tongue,

but deceiveth his own heart,

this man’s religion is vain.”   James 1:26

Our words reveal to others who we really are and what we believe and feel. Jesus told us about this very thing.

But those things which proceed out of the mouth

come forth from the heart;

and they defile the man.

19 For out of the heart

proceed evil thoughts,

murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”             Matthew 15:18-19

What we choose to speak with our “mouth” in reality will “come forth from the heart”; and while we may smile and say, “I’m just joking!”, people will eventually see that our motives are often less than pure! We who are following Jesus ought to speak out of a heart full of love for Him and others. And God’s love always does that which is best for the recipient! After all, He gave us the standard, “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” and “love thy neighbor as thyself”! And we all know that while the children shout “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” it is far from true, and “words” do hurt—often to the depth of the soul. So we ought to be careful how we use our words, for love makes a difference! James had a lot to say about the tongue.

Even so the tongue is a little member,

and boasteth great things.

Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

6 And the tongue is a fire,

a world of iniquity:

so is the tongue among our members,

that it defileth the whole body,

and setteth on fire the course of nature;

and it is set on fire of hell.

7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea,

is tamed,

and hath been tamed of mankind:

8 But the tongue

can no man tame;

it is an unruly evil,

full of deadly poison.” James 3:5-8 

How about you and me? Are our words poison or blessing—are we uplifting others or putting them down? We are called to be a blessing to the world, not poison!

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.” 1 Peter 3:8-11

So may we each go forth today and render blessings with our words—never compromising the truth–but calling others to the cross, to the Savior who loves them so much that He gave His life for our salvation!!! May our words spread the peace of God with the world around us, rather than discord!

And the peace of God,

which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts and minds

through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren,

whatsoever things are true,

whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just,

whatsoever things are pure,

whatsoever things are lovely,

whatsoever things are of good report;

if there be any virtue,

and if there be any praise,

think on these things.

9 Those things,

which ye have both learned,

and received,

and heard,

and seen in me,

do:

and the God of peace shall be with you.”    Philippians 4:7-9

So “think on these things” today, and each day………and speak accordingly!!!

Let the words of my mouth,

and the meditation of my heart,

be acceptable in thy sight,

O LORD,

my strength,

and my redeemer.   Psalm 19:14

Amen and Amen!!!

 

 

 

What Are You Wanting??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #438

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #438   What Are You Wanting???

 

I’d like to share a few thoughts today on one of my favorite Psalms—almost everyone’s favorite, or close—with a bit of a twist. I pray that this will help us all to stop and think about our guarding our hearts and minds from the darkness around us.

The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down

in green pastures:

he leadeth me beside

the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul:

he leadeth me in the paths

of righteousness

for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley

of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil:

for thou art with me;

thy rod

and thy staff

they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table

before me

in the presence of mine enemies:

thou anointest my head

with oil;

my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy

shall follow me

all the days of my life:

and I will dwell

in the house of the LORD

for ever.”   Psalm 23:1-6

What an amazing progression of confidence, comfort and courage the Psalmist paints for us. And two of the things that always jump out at me are, “The LORD is my shepherd” and “I shall not want”! Have you ever taken in the breadth of that concept—when I choose Jesus as “my shepherd” and become HIS child (sheep) through the blood of Jesus, He gives me “abundant lifein Himself by the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit, and we can have confidence in His Spirit’s leading, comfort for any conflict, and the courage to live in HIS victorious power!!!

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………

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.” Romans 5:5-6 & 8-9

Jesus, the Great Shepherd gave His life for us—He paid for our sin by His own blood on Calvary’s Cross! He did that for you and me, and when we will come to Him in repentance and faith, He saves, delivers and keeps us—He becomes “my shepherd”, and I am His own! And because I am HIS, I have confidence in His faithful provision; because of His Shepherd’s heart “I shall not want”! He will lead me in the right path, to the right provision and rest, through the difficult circumstances, and He will vindicate me in His time. I don’t have to seek my own justification or vengeance—that is HIS job!

So take a few minutes today to ponder and mull over the depth and beauty of the 23rd Psalm, and let the “Great Shepherd” be “YOUR” shepherd today. If you know Him, then yield to His Sprit’s leading in your heart and life. If you don’t know Him yet, bow your knee in repentance of your own sin, and trust to His sacrifice for you—His substitutionary (He took your place), atoning (He paid your sin debt), sacrifice (He gave what He didn’t to owe, to pay what you couldn’t pay)—and He will save you.

But what saith it?

The word is nigh thee,

even in thy mouth,

and in thy heart:

that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth

the Lord Jesus,

and shalt believe in thine heart

that God hath raised him from the dead,

thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth

unto righteousness;

and with the mouth confession is made

unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith,

Whosoever believeth on him

shall not be ashamed.

12 For there is no difference

between the Jew

and the Greek:

for the same Lord over all

is rich unto all

that call upon him.

13 For whosoever shall call

upon the name of the Lord

shall be saved.” Romans 10:8-13

Amen and Amen. Rest in The Shepherd’s love today!

Bullets And Bible-Thumpers!!! Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 04

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No.04 Bullets And Bible-Thumpers!!!

 

We have experienced another recent tragedy here in our country, and it seems to have stirred up more strife than unity, and I’d like to offer some thoughts in regard to that conflict. It seems that everyone has an opinion, and I’d like to simply examine the current climate in light of biblical truth. We Christians sometimes seem to think that we ought to be in the spotlight—popular and accepted as purveyors of truth without question—no matter how we live.

My mind goes to a couple of devoted believers that have passed on from this life into eternity, one with not much fanfare, except from his friends and family; the other was a man of some influence whose absence will be lauded by people near and far. And each of them lived a life of faith—two men who prayed for healing (as well as those who loved and cared for them) and didn’t receive the healing that they each expected, but they both stood fast in their trust in Jesus and His perfect will for them and left a testimony of faith that has inspired and affected hosts of people—saved and unsaved, because they held to God’s Truth, God’s Word!

So what does this have to do with the recent tragic school shootings? I think it is the very heart of the tragedies around us! We have failed to recognize the conflict between sin and faith in God. As always, we want to examine the scriptures to see what we can discover. The scriptures are our guide for living. One of my favorite passages that speaks to the differences between light and dark is Psalm 1.

Blessed is the man

that walketh not in the counsel

of the ungodly,

nor standeth in the way

of sinners,

nor sitteth in the seat

of the scornful.

2 But his delight

is in the law of the LORD;

and in his law doth he meditate

day and night.

3 And he shall be

like a tree

planted by the rivers of water,

that bringeth forth his fruit

in his season;

his leaf also shall not wither;

and whatsoever he doeth

shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so:

but are like the chaff

which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly

shall not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners

in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knoweth

the way of the righteous:

but the way of the ungodly

shall perish. Psalm 1:1-6

The Psalmist makes the contrast between those who are “blessed” and the “ungodly”—there are two forces at work in this world and we must choose who we will follow and believe—the enemy of our soul or The God of all creation, who sent His Son to die for our sin! And only those who accept Jesus and follow Him are the “righteous”!

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God,

who hath reconciled us

to himself

by Jesus Christ,

and hath given to us the ministry

of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ,

reconciling the world

unto himself,

not imputing their trespasses

unto them;

and hath committed unto us

the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors

for Christ,

as though God did beseech you

by us:

we pray you in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled to God.

21 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 17-21 

Jesus, the sinless Son of God came to give new life to lost and dying humanity. With Him we can have life, but without Him we will answer for our own sin. And what we must see and understand is that while God is calling men to reconciliation, they enemy of our souls is leading men, women, boys and girls straight to Hell—and deceiving them into believing that it won’t be a bad place to be!

And you hath he quickened,

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;)

6 And hath raised us up together,

and made us sit together

in heavenly places

in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come

he might shew the exceeding riches

of his grace

in his kindness toward us

through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved

through faith;

and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God hath before ordained

that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:1-10

We are all born into a sinful world, in a sinful body with a sinful nature and mind—but Jesus came to give “new birth” to all who are “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” by faith in His substitutionary, atoning, death for our salvation. Jesus saves us out of the clutches of the devil and gives us new life—for which we rejoice! But not all people believe, and we must expect the conflict that we will encounter—and we will encounter opposition. And SIN is opposition! As long as sin is rampant in this world, we will have tragic happenings and wicked tragedies interrupt our world! And no matter what we may say or do, people will not be willing to hear or believe that God IS the only answer. Only redeemed and changed lives will produce a changed world

Giving thanks unto the Father,

which hath made us meet

to be partakers

of the inheritance

of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us

from the power of darkness,

and hath translated us

into the kingdom

of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

even the forgiveness of sins:”    Colossians 1:12-14

Since sin is the issue, until people are ready to deal with sin, we will never see a change in our culture, our nation or our world! But we are living in a world that makes light of God, faith, and the value of life based in Biblical principles—then we are surprised when tragedy comes, and people blame everything under the sun but SIN! It’s the bullets, it’s the guns, it’s the drugs, it’d the liquor, it’s the economy, it’s the president, anything but SIN! Until we recognize that people don’t want to hear our message, we will keep scratching our heads and letting ourselves be pulled into useless debates rather than the proclamation of the truth!

One of scriptures clear examples of this is the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah was called to preach to a rebellious people, going there own way instead of God’s way, and they expected to reap good things not the consequences of their sin! An amazing parallel to today, so let’s look at a message from Paul before we look at Jeremiah. It’s a passage that reminds us of a culture that is “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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.

6 For of this sort are they which

creep into houses,

and lead captive silly women

laden with sins,

led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning,

and never able

to come

to the knowledge

of the truth.”    2 Timothy 3:1-7

Jeremiah also dealt with a people who didn’t want to “learn; and God even warned Him that this would be his mission.

Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me,

Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms,

to root out,

and to pull down,

and to destroy,

and to throw down,

to build,

and to plant…….

17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins,

and arise,

and speak unto them

all that I command thee:

be not dismayed at their faces,

lest I confound thee before them.

18 For, behold,

I have made thee this day

a defenced city,

and an iron pillar,

and brasen walls

against the whole land,

against the kings of Judah,

against the princes thereof,

against the priests thereof,

and against the people of the land.

19 And they shall fight against thee;

but they shall not prevail against thee;

for I am with thee,

saith the LORD,

to deliver thee.”   Jeremiah 1:9-10 & 17-19

God told Jeremiah that the people would not heed his message! And Jesus told us the same thing:

And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy;

and there abide till ye go thence.

12 And when ye come into an house,

salute it.

13 And if the house be worthy,

let your peace come upon it:

but if it be not worthy,

let your peace return to you.

14 And whosoever shall not receive you,

nor hear your words,

when ye depart out of that house or city,

shake off the dust of your feet.

15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment,

than for that city.

16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep

in the midst of wolves:

be ye therefore wise as serpents,

and harmless as doves.

17 But beware of men:

for they will deliver you up

to the councils,

and they will scourge you

in their synagogues;

18 And ye shall be brought before

governors and kings

for my sake,

for a testimony

against them

and the Gentiles.”     Matthew 10:11-18

Paul gave us a very similar warning, one we don’t hear much about today. Today we are surrounded with a Christian culture that is often so consumed with ‘acceptance’ that they change the message of the Gospel to be accepted, popular, big and successful in the world’s eyes rather than God’s. Jeremiah’s message wasn’t received or followed by the masses, but he was God’s faithful servant to the end—and even though he wasn’t popular or heeded most of the time—he never changed the message that GOD had given Him. What about us? If we stand fast we will be opposed, just like those who opposed Jeremiah—and we can expect the same kind of thing when we follow Jesus and His Word.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12

Jeremiah, as well as Paul suffered for holding to the truth—the truth that sin will never bring us into right relationship with God!!! Never! And sin will never lift us up, but it will drag us down. It’s why we blame everything for our nations woes except sin–“for all have sinned”! Read Romans 3!

Go and tell Hananiah, saying,

Thus saith the LORD;

Thou hast broken the yokes of wood;

but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.

14 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel;

I have put a yoke of iron

upon the neck of all these nations,

that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar

king of Babylon;

and they shall serve him:

and I have given him the beasts of the field also.

15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah;

The LORD hath not sent thee;

but thou makest this people

to trust in a lie.

16 Therefore thus saith the LORD;

Behold, I will cast thee from off

the face of the earth:

this year thou shalt die,

because thou hast taught rebellion

against the LORD.

17 So Hananiah the prophet died

the same year in the seventh month.”  Jeremiah 28:12-17

Believers are called to be light shinning in the dark—not to join the darkness to be accepted! As an old gospel song says, “We’re not trying to change any hearts, we’re just getting used to the dark”! What about you and me? Are we walking in the light–or getting used to the dark? Are we debating bullets or sharing God’s Word—the truth about SIN!!! Acknowledging “sin” is the only road to salvation!!!

I’d much rather be called a “Bible-Thumper” and stand on God’s truth, than receive the laud and praise from a world gone amuck! How about you? The truth is seldom popular, and remember there are two gates—wide or narrow—many or few! What will you choose?

Enter ye in at the strait gate:

for wide is the gate, and broad is the way,

that leadeth to destruction,

and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate,

and narrow is the way,

which leadeth unto life,

and few there be that find it.”    Matthew 7:13-14

Clean And Pure! Really??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #437

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #437   Clean And Pure! Really???

 

We talked last time about Jesus—the real “Valentine”—The One who loves us and gave Himself for our salvation. But how are we to live this life of faith—the life of a child of God. Well there’s only One way to have a clean and pure walk with God, and that’ to walk with HIM, by the power of His Spirit.

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying,

Not by might,

nor by power,

but by my spirit,

saith the LORD of hosts.”    Zechariah 4:6

Only by God’s power can we succeed in any part of life, and He has given His Holy Spirit to dwell within each one whom He saves.

That we should be to the praise of his glory,

who first trusted in Christ.

13 In whom ye also trusted,

after that ye heard the word of truth,

the gospel of your salvation:

in whom also after that ye believed,

ye were sealed with that holy Spirit

of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance

until the redemption

of the purchased possession,

unto the praise

of his glory.”    Ephesians 1:12-14

Praise God it is HIS power not our own! As I’m was sitting here writing this—an interruption came! An interruption that has attempted to steal my joy and the power of HIS Spirit in me; an attempt to get my heart and mind off of my Lord and onto the works of my flesh—anger and frustration that take our minds off of HIM and onto ‘me’! But thanks to God’s gentle reminder, I am His and “this too shall pass”, and it’s: “Not by might,

nor by power,

but by my spirit,

saith the LORD of hosts”!

Talk about an ‘object lesson’ right in the middle of this post—God is so good—and He brought this very verse that I was about to write, right into my heart and mind for real!

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain,

The spirit that dwelleth in us

lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace.

Wherefore he saith,

God resisteth the proud,

but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God.

Resist the devil,

and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God,

and he will draw nigh to you.

Cleanse your hands,

ye sinners;

and purify your hearts,

ye double minded.” James 4:5-8

Lord, I thank you that YOU remind me when my heart and mind start being distracted and get dirty by the interruptions of the world. Help me to “Cleansemy hands and to “purifymy heart when the enemy tries to distract me from my calling!!! I’m so grateful that you are ever with us, working to make us more like our Master, our Lord and Savior, Jesus!!! May Jesus be praised in us always—and that can only happen when we yield to Your Spirit who is working within us 24/7! Amen and Amen. May you let God reveal your distractions to you today too!

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….

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

shall tribulation,

or distress,

or persecution,

or famine,

or nakedness,

or peril,

or sword?

36 As it is written,

For thy sake

we are killed

all the day long;

we are accounted as sheep

for the slaughter.

37 Nay,

in all these things

we are more than conquerors

through him that loved us.”   Romans 8:28-29 & 35-37

Amen and Amen!!!

The Real Valentine??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #436

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #436    The Real Valentine???

 

A Happy Valentine’s Day to you all—a day when we celebrate ‘love’! And we can celebrate ‘love’ without all the commercial trappings (Although chocolate trappings are always welcome J!)! I pray that your day will be blessed with time with the people you love and those who love you. What a privilege to be blessed with love, yet it is God’s love that enables us to really love others; so let’s spend a few minutes this morning rehearsing the beauty of God’s love revealed in the Holy Scriptures.

And we have seen and do testify

that the Father sent the Son

to be the Saviour of the world.

15 Whosoever shall confess

that Jesus is the Son of God,

God dwelleth in him,

and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed

the love that God hath to us.

God is love;

and he that dwelleth in love

dwelleth in God,

and God in him.

17 Herein is our love made perfect,

that we may have boldness

in the day of judgment:

because as he is,

so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love;

but perfect love casteth out fear:

because fear hath torment.

He that feareth is not made perfect

in love.

19 We love him,

because he first loved us.”   1 John 4:14-19

We are loved by God!!! Oh, how much He loves us; so much so, that HE gave Jesus that we might have life and not death, through forgiveness of our sin, by HIS own blood!

And as Moses lifted up the serpent

in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of man

be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth

in him

should not perish,

but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world,

that he gave

his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth

in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world

through him

might be saved.

18 He that believeth

on him

is not condemned:

but he that believeth

not

is condemned already,

because he hath not believed

in the name

of the only begotten

Son of God.”   John 3:14-18

God “so loved” that HEgave” Jesus to be the payment for our sin, yet not only to pay for our sin, but to also give us new life—not ‘pie-in-the-sky’ life, that’s ‘way beyond the blue’—but life that is new right now. God gives us “abundant” life right now, when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior through repentance and faith in HIS substitutionary, atoning, sacrifice (in my place, for my debt, giving His life for mine!)!

Are you walking in that ‘love’ that He puts within the hearts of His own? When Jesus saves us, we become a reflection of HISlove’ to the world; and having HIM with us—today and each day—we can share HISlove’ where ever we go

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.”    Romans 5:1-5

Amen and Amen!!! Let’s reflect HIS love today; somebody we meet may need to see HIM in us!!!