Freed From Bondage??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #594

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #594       Freed From Bondage???

 

I just want to share an encouraging word with you today about real freedom—freedom that we have IN Jesus!  We have been saved to serve The Sovereign God Almighty and His Son Jesus, through the power of saving grace and the impartation of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Power to be God’s children and live in a manner worthy of the “heritage” that we have received from our Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Oh, praise God for that deliverance and translation into God’s glorious kingdom—one that is free from fear and bondage!  All because of what Jesus did for us through His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice at Calvary!  Paul reminds us to “remember” whose we are, because of Jesus’ completed work of salvation!

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,

they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received

the spirit of bondage

again to fear;

but ye have received

the Spirit of adoption,

whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself

beareth witness

with our spirit,

that we are the children of God:

17 And if children,

then heirs;

heirs of God,

and joint-heirs with Christ;

if so be that we suffer with him,

that we may be also

glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings

of this present time

are not worthy to be compared

with the glory

which shall be revealed in us.”                  Romans 8:14-18

Oh, praise God, I just want to shout—in fact I just did—Amen, thank You, Jesus!  Yet, we also have a call to follow our Lord in word and deed—Paul says it better than I can (and in so many places, but I’ll share just one this morning):

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you

that ye walk worthy

of the vocation

wherewith ye are called,

2 With all lowliness

and meekness,

with longsuffering,

forbearing one another

in love;

3 Endeavouring to keep the unity

of the Spirit

in the bond of peace.”   Ephesians 4:1-3

All things that we can be victorious in as we walk “in the Spirit” and not the flesh.  Sometimes (often times) we find ourselves yielding to the flesh, when we ought to be looking up and not around!  As one of my dear friends is often heard to say, “we have to remember what Paul told the young preacher, Timothy, and not be afraid”!  No matter how often we may stumble or fall, the key to success in God’s kingdom, is to just get up, look up and press on for our KING!

For God hath not given us

the spirit of fear;

but of power,

and of love,

and of a sound mind.”   2 Timothy 1:7

I pray that these few words of encouragement will lift your spirit today!  I love the Greek word translated here “sound mind”, for it literally means “right thinking”; and as I heard someone say long ago, we need to look up to our Lord, and “quit your ‘stinkin’ ‘thinkin’!”  May it ever be so, and as a final reminder, don’t let fear rule your heart but follow Paul’s admonition for ‘thinking’:

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.”   Philippians 4:8

Amen and Amen!

 

“I Put My Trust In Thee”??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #594

Tags

, , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #594       “I Put My Trust In Thee”???

 

We often wrestle with “time” and the bustle of “activity” all around us.  Where is the balance of “life”?  There is only one answer—Jesus, who IS the source of strength to those who will come to Him in repentance and faith!  People often claim that Jesus is simply ‘one of many’ ways to God, or that Jesus never claimed to ‘be God’; but Jesus made both of those truths clear in His teaching!

Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”  John 14:6

My sheep hear my voice,

and I know them,

and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them

eternal life;

and they shall never perish,

neither shall any man pluck them

out of my hand.

29 My Father,

which gave them me,

is greater than all;

and no man is able to pluck them

out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one.”  John 10:27-30

All because of “Who” Jesus IS, you and I can walk in confidence through life.  We can press on in those difficult days; we can find comfort in our pain, sorrow and grief; we can stand fast “in the evil day”!  All due to the work that Jesus accomplished at Calvary; all because of the precious Holy Spirit whom Jesus has given to those who come to Him and receive the new birth (See John 1:12-13)!  The Psalms paint such amazing pictures of God’s faithfulness, His grace, His sufficiency, and His faithful keeping of His children for our good and His glory.  May this passage from Psalm 25 comfort and encourage your heart where ever you may be today!  May His grace, mercy and peace lift you up!

What man is he that feareth the LORD?

him shall he teach

in the way that he shall choose.

13 His soul

shall dwell at ease;

and his seed

shall inherit the earth.

14 The secret of the LORD

is with them that fear him;

and he will shew them

his covenant.

15 Mine eyes are ever

toward the LORD;

for he shall pluck my feet

out of the net.

16 Turn thee unto me,

and have mercy upon me;

for I am desolate

and afflicted.

17 The troubles of my heart

are enlarged:

O bring thou me

out of my distresses.

18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain;

and forgive all my sins.

19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many;

and they hate me with cruel hatred.

20 O keep my soul,

and deliver me:

let me not be ashamed;

for I put my trust in thee.

21 Let integrity

and uprightness

 preserve me;

for I wait on thee.”  Psalm 25:12-21

And just for good measure, one of my favorite verses:

But they that wait upon the LORD

shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up

with wings as eagles;

they shall run,

and not be weary;

and they shall walk,

and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

Amen and Amen!

 

 

Whose Box Are You In??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 08

Tags

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

Bible Ballistics: Vol.14 No.08     Whose Box Are You In???

 

I’m going to broach a subject that may cause me to lose some of you, but nonetheless, it’s a topic that I feel that Christian women need to consider, especially in light of what we are teaching our young girls and young women.  I think that we have allowed the world to dictate and sway our thinking about women.  Being a woman who was adversely affected by the tripe that was touted in the 60’s about ‘women’ being ‘liberated’, and “bringing home the bacon”, “cooking it up”, and being the “everything to everyone”—the sex-goddess without an apron in the kitchen.  Well, I’m here to tell you—we were lied to!  God’s plan is the only plan that will bring us joy, peace and the opportunity to influence our families, our world, so we can see mountains moved for Jesus.  What I’ve learned in these years of failures and successes is that ultimately, finding out what GOD said about us as women, the home, and our ‘true north’ of focus, is that the only ‘box’ that brings true fulfillment is knowing and pursuing God and His plan.

I read a story recently of a person who was given a fine Swiss watch, but it quit running.  After taking it to several repair shops, who said they couldn’t fix it, someone was going to be in Switzerland on an unrelated task, so they took it to the original manufacturer and told them it wasn’t running.  Sometime later the person received the watch back in perfect running order!  How?  Because the original manufacturer “knew” the watch and what it would take to fix it—for they had created it.  And the point?  God is the “original” creator and He  designed us male and female for a reason; He established marriage with a purpose (and it wasn’t to set up a race for ‘superior and inferior’ member of the union)—but rather that the home would be a place where love would abound, where a man and a woman could grow and blossom into the people that God created them to be—and ‘In Jesus’ we can blossom as we were created to do—male and female, truly becoming ONE—propagating life and the Gospel!

In whom we have redemption

 through his blood,

even the forgiveness of sins:

15 Who is the image of the invisible God,

the firstborn of every creature:

16 For by him

were all things created,

that are in heaven,

and that are in earth,

visible and invisible,

whether they be thrones,

or dominions,

or principalities,

 or powers:

all things were created by him,

and for him:

17 And he is before all things,

and by him

all things consist. Colossians 1:14-17

God is creator, and The Son was right there with Him, so we can trust in our God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—Creator and sustainer!!!  His plan is the best plan ever–still!

In the beginning

was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning

with God.

3 All things

were made by him;

and without him

was not any thing made

that was made.

4 In him

was life;

and the life

was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth

in darkness;

and the darkness

comprehended it not.”  John 1:1-5

We live in a culture that at this moment is promoting “strong” women—but often what they are promoting as ‘strength’ is more like defiance of the God-given characteristics of men and women!  We women were never created or called to be men, nor vice-versa.  God created ‘male’ and ‘female’ with intent and purpose; woman was brought to the man as a “completer” not a “competer”, and God made us to encourage and strengthen one another by our unique differences!  God made us as the crowning glory of His work of creation; and the home to be the nurturing incubator to build the next generation—for better or for worse!  Instead of caving to the culture, God wants us to call the culture to the cross—not fall in the gutter with them!

We talked last week about those who were “past feeling”, and this fits in today; we are living amongst a people who have decided that anyone who considers God’s way as the right way, is out of touch with reality!  The truth is that God IS true ‘reality’; yet we often let the world trap, fool and deceive us into accepting and joining in with their rejection and revision of God’s order, forsaking the truth for a lie!  Jesus dealt with these same issues when He walked this earth, the more truth He spoke the more those in positions of authority defied, denied and demeaned Him.

Jesus said unto them,

If God were your Father,

 ye would love me:

for I proceeded forth and came from God;

neither came I of myself,

but he sent me.

43 Why do ye not understand my speech?

even because ye cannot hear my word.

44 Ye are of your father the devil,

and the lusts of your father

ye will do.

He was a murderer

from the beginning,

and abode not in the truth,

because there is no truth in him.

When he speaketh a lie,

he speaketh of his own:

for he is a liar,

and the father of it.

45 And because I tell you the truth,

ye believe me not.

46 Which of you convinceth me of sin?

And if I say the truth,

why do ye not believe me?

 47 He that is of God

heareth God’s words:

ye therefore hear them not,

because ye are not of God.”   John 8:42-47

One thing that we often forget is that Jesus warned us that if we choose to follow Him and go God’s way, then we would face the same things that he faced.  Many don’t like to consider this, for so many preach an ‘easy believe-ism’ that says if we follow Jesus we will always be accepted—healthy, wealthy, painless.  As I had someone tell me once, as I was teaching on suffering and persecution, ‘if you are nice to others, they will be nice to you’; and while that sounds really nice (and we are to be nice to others) it is not always true.  I’ll use the same answer now, as I used then, I simply asked about Jesus—did He always do right; yes!  Did He always respond in truth; yes!  Did He always speak the right thing, to the right person, at the right time, in the right way-yes!  Yet what did ‘they’ do to Him?  The “loved” Him to death—they cried out “crucify Him”!  Less than a week after Palm Sunday’s shouts of “hosanna”, they were crying “Crucify him…”.  We can expect the same—male and female!

These things I command you,

that ye love one another.

18 If the world hate you,

ye know that it hated me

before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world,

the world would love his own:

but because ye are not of the world,

but I have chosen you out of the world,

therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you,

The servant is not greater

than his lord.

If they have persecuted me,

they will also persecute you;

if they have kept my saying,

they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things

will they do unto you

for my name’s sake,

because they know not him

that sent me.”   John 15:17-21

Back to our thoughts about women and the family, one of the things I want us to consider is, what/who are we holding up to our children as “heroes”?  Who are we teaching/allowing them to dress like, behave like, and listen to?  The people that saturate the media with their ungodliness, or those who lived for God in the past as well as those who are living for Him and honoring Him now.  Are we teaching our young men and women that building a home is a priority, or that it’s simply an ‘add-on’ to living life for your selfish desires, if it fits in?  Are we teaching and leading our children, both our sons and our daughters, to value and pursue godliness, or have we abandoned them to the world, it’s glitz and glamour, and its vile icons?  Are we helping them be like the world or to pursue holiness?  I truly believe that godly women—moms, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, neighbors, and friends—can still make a difference in the world!  And whether they know it or not, the world needs true, biblical, godly men and women to lead us into the future.  Scripture gives us some guidelines; the problem is we seem to be failing to make teaching our young ones The Word of God a priority.  If your son or daughter can pitch a perfect no-hitter, or make 3-point baskets all night, or if they are a ‘fashion plate’ of modern dress, if they don’t know Jesus, what do they have?  We can’t assure that they will always make good choices, but we are to help them learn the difference between godly and ungodly; and not just our own children, but those we have the opportunity to influence; as well as other adults God sends our way!

But speak thou the things

which become sound doctrine:

2 That the aged men

be sober,

grave,

temperate,

sound

in faith,

in charity,

in patience.

3 The aged women likewise,

that they be in behaviour

as becometh holiness,

not false accusers,

not given to much wine,

teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach

the young women

to be sober,

to love their husbands,

to love their children,

5 To be discreet,

chaste,

keepers at home,

good,

obedient to their own husbands,

that the word of God

be not blasphemed.

6 Young men likewise

exhort to be sober minded.

7 In all things shewing thyself

a pattern of good works:

in doctrine

shewing uncorruptness,

gravity,

sincerity,

8 Sound speech,

that cannot be condemned;

that he that is of

the contrary part

may be ashamed,

having no evil thing

to say of you.”  Titus 2:1-8

Paul says so much in these few verses, he is calling Christian men and women to live above reproach—that we don’t bring shame to the name of our Lord Jesus!  He calls us to pass on this ‘higher call’ to those among whom we have influence.  And whether we work outside the home or not, godly women should know that love is more importantly ‘acted out’ rather than simply ‘spoken’.  For to speak truth effectively, we must live it!  Continually!

And when we are living truth, we will be used by God to make a difference.  Why do we allow people with, to say the least, questionable character to be praised before our daughters?  Why have we abandoned the truth and power available through the ideal of godly, humble, powerful women of GOD?

It often escapes us that Paul’s admonition to the “older” women to teach the “younger” women, is a two-fold call; for every woman has someone in their life that is ‘younger’, and at the same time we have those who are ‘older’ than we are.  We are to share with one another the power of biblical truth for living!  Get off of your social-media and make a call, make a visit, connect with a real person—in person!  We are quickly losing the art of personal communication—and we need personal relationships NOT virtual ones!

What has happened to sharing with our young ones the call to be an ‘Esther’-a woman with an opportunity to rescue her nation; to be a Hannah, a praying woman and a self-less mother; to be a Ruth, a loving servant to her mother-in-law, and a humble convert and servant of God; to be a Deborah (and I’ll lose some of you here) a godly woman of God, used to be a powerful inspiration to encourage men to follow and accept God’s call to lead and overcome (not to take their place—oooops, I just lost some of you!)!  How about modern women of faith?  Corrie Ten Boom, a powerful woman of faith, truth and strength!   Amy Carmichael, a powerful woman of God who served tirelessly on the mission field! Elizabeth Elliot, who helped show the world that a godly widow can make a difference! Ruth Graham, a quite woman of faith, strength and courage, who supported her husband’s ministry and raised her children with dignity and truth to be servants of God!  The list could go on, but I think you get the point.  We often teach about the Daniels, and Josephs, and we should, but don’t forget God’s examples of godly women!  And one point I’d like to leave with you is to get your children and grandchildren into reading the biographies of the faithful servants of God from the past and the present!  May we be Proverbs 31 women who ‘fear The Lord’ and seek God’s praise over the praise of men, sharing with those around us?

Favour is deceitful,

and beauty is vain:

but a woman that feareth the LORD,

she shall be praised.   

31 Give her

of the fruit of her hands;

and let her own works

praise her in the gates.”   Proverbs 31:30-31

Let’s stop binge-eating at the world’s table, and feast on The Word of God, and the company of other godly women! (or men as the case may be). Peter reminds us that God has a higher standard than the world—will we accept the challenge or fall for the lies of the enemy.  And note, Peter points out that our “life-style” of holiness (conversation) is more of a testimony than nagging (ouch!)!

Men and women are called to appreciate our respective differences, and pursue God’s work in our lives, as we share each with the other, and for the sake of time and space, I’ll only share a portion of 1 Peter 3.  I encourage you to read chapter 2 and 3 this week (In fact the whole book is a doable thing, and it’s all about suffering for Jesus—for living holy lives in a broken world!).

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…

….7 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.”    Portions of 1 Peter 3:1-9

Let me close by saying, God created male and female—and we are to treasure the differences without yielding our God-given roles!  And yes, I believe we have “roles”—not subservient roles (either way) but roles of complementors and completers not competitors!  God calls us to love—agape love—to do that which is always for the other persons good, not just our own!  And sometimes it hurts to love that way, but I’m so grateful that Jesus loved me enough to give His life for mine.  How could I/we do less for one another, especially within a home!!!

This is my commandment,

That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13 Greater love hath no man than this,

that a man lay down his life for his friends.”    John 15:12-13

Amen and Amen!!!

God’s Goodness!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #593

Tags

, , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #593       God’s Goodness!!!

 

Some things speak for themselves, and today I’d like to share some portions from Psalm 145 to lift, encourage, and remind us that our God is sooooooo good—all the time!  And not to be trite, but ALL THE TIME—God IS good!  May He speak to your heart today, and may we share His goodness with others whom God places in our path!  Thank you to each of you, for blessing me!

I will extol thee,

my God,

O king;

and I will bless thy name

for ever and ever.

2 Every day will I bless thee;

and I will praise thy name

for ever and ever.

3 Great is the LORD,

and greatly to be praised;

and his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall praise

thy works

to another,

and shall declare

thy mighty acts.

5 I will speak of the glorious honour

of thy majesty,

and of thy

wondrous works…

8 The LORD is gracious,

and full of compassion;

slow to anger,

and of great mercy.

9 The LORD is good to all:

and his tender mercies are over all his works.

10 All thy works

shall praise thee, O LORD;

and thy saints

shall bless thee.

11 They shall speak

of the glory of thy kingdom,

and talk

of thy power;

12 To make known to the sons of men

his mighty acts,

and the glorious majesty of his kingdom…

17 The LORD is righteous

in all his ways,

and holy

in all his works.

18 The LORD is nigh unto all them

that call upon him,

to all that call upon him

in truth.

19 He will fulfil

the desire of them that fear him:

he also will hear

their cry,

and will save them.

20 The LORD preserveth all them

that love him:

but all the wicked

will he destroy.

21 My mouth shall speak

the praise

of the LORD:

 and let all flesh

bless his holy name

for ever and ever.”  Portions of Psalm 145:1-21

Amen and Amen!!!