Love My Neighbor??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #40

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Love My Neighbor??? A Word from THE WORD!!!  #40

I heard a song this morning that brought my attention to my desperate lack of love on many occasions; for Jesus said if we love HIM, we are to love others—our brothers and sisters (in the flesh and in the body of Christ), our loved ones, and our ‘neighbors’!  So, I would simply like to share Jesus’ message on ‘neighbors’! May you and I take heart and truly measure as Jesus did/does!  I want to be found faithful to my Lord and King!

And he turned him unto his disciples,

and said privately,

Blessed are the eyes

which see the things that ye see:

24 For I tell you,

that many prophets and kings

have desired to see those things

which ye see,

and have not seen them;

and to hear those things

which ye hear,

and have not heard them.

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up,

and tempted him, saying,

Master, what shall I do

to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him,

What is written in the law?

how readest thou?

27 And he answering said,

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God

with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy strength,

and with all thy mind;

and thy neighbour

as thyself.

28 And he said unto him,

Thou hast answered right:

this do,

and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself,

said unto Jesus,

And who is my neighbour?”  Luke 10:23-29

Just as this man, we so often are attempting to “justify” ourselves rather than admit that without Jesus, we can’t even understand selfless, godly love!  So, Jesus’ most convicting story is still applicable, and pierces my heart, reminding me that “saying so doesn’t make it so” (I need to be a better child of Jesus/God and leave off the snarky remarks, the gossip, the lack of compassion, the real tendency to be so consumed with self, that others aren’t even on my radar!)  May our hearts hear and respond to the convicting voice of The Holy Spirit speaking to my heart and yours; may we truly love as Jesus loves, and by HIS Spirit and power do better at being “good neighbors”!

And Jesus answering said,

A certain man went down from Jerusalem

to Jericho,

and fell among thieves,

which stripped him of his raiment,

and wounded him,

and departed,

leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down

a certain priest that way:

and when he saw him,

he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite,

when he was at the place,

came and looked on him,

and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan,

as he journeyed,

came where he was:

and when he saw him,

he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him,

and bound up his wounds,

pouring in oil and wine,

and set him on his own beast,

and brought him to an inn,

and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed,

he took out two pence,

and gave them to the host,

and said unto him,

Take care of him;

and whatsoever thou spendest more,

when I come again,

I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three,

thinkest thou,

was neighbour

unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said,

He that shewed mercy on him.

Then said Jesus unto him,

 Go, and do thou likewise.” Luke 10:30-37

May we be that “good neighbor”!  And just FYI, remember that in that culture, the Jews didn’t even believe there could be a “GOOD SAMARITAN”!  Without Jesus we can’t be good/righteous:

       “…There is none righteous, no, not one:”  Romans 3:10b

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”  Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans. 6:23

May we walk with Jesus and truly go “about doing good”—HIS good!

Amen and Amen!!!

Discerning Or Deceived??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #39

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Discerning Or Deceived??? A Word from THE WORD!!!  #39

Like many believers today, I am concerned with all that I see going on around me, especially within churches that claim the name of “Jesus” but preach a message that is in direct contradiction to The Word of God.  So, I’d like to share a bit of scripture to remind us all that we won’t be in the majority, but we do need to pursue God’s “right-jority”—for God’s truth has seldom if ever been a popular message with any majority, and we want to align ourselves with God Almighty, Jesus The Son, His Word and His ways, by the power of The Holy Spirit, who indwells those who belong to Jesus, having been “born again” of the Spirit of God!

Jesus answered and said unto him,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see

the kingdom of God…

   …. 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.”  Portions of John 3:3-7

Paul makes it clear that truth—God’s truth—is spiritually discerned!  Are you being discerning or deceived?

But we speak the wisdom of God

in a mystery,

even the hidden wisdom,

which God ordained

before the world

unto our glory:

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew:

for had they known it,

they would not have crucified

the Lord of glory.

9 But as it is written,

Eye hath not seen,

nor ear heard,

neither have entered into the heart of man,

the things which God hath prepared

for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them

unto us

by his Spirit:

for the Spirit searcheth all things,

yea, the deep things

of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man,

save the spirit of man

which is in him?

even so the things of God

knoweth no man,

but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received,

not the spirit of the world,

but the spirit

which is of God;

that we might know

the things that are freely given

to us

of God.

13 Which things also we speak,

not in the words

which man’s wisdom teacheth,

but which

the Holy Ghost teacheth;

comparing spiritual things

with spiritual.

14 But the natural man

receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:

for they are foolishness unto him:

neither can he know them,

because they are spiritually discerned.

15 But he that is spiritual

 judgeth all things,

yet he himself is judged

of no man.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord,

that he may instruct him?

But we have

the mind of Christ.”  1 Corinthians 2:7-16

While we can’t ever (nor should we seek to) instruct God, we do have the “mind of the Lord” through Jesus Christ our Lord and we are to yield to the “mind of Christ” via the Holy Spirit, which helps us to walk right before God in humility, grace, and the crucified life. (To see a picture of this see Philippians 2:5-11) And while we should never align with the “majority” of the world, Jesus, speaking of majority, made it very clear that we are walking a ‘narrow road’!  All while there is a “broad way” filled with “many” which leads to destruction; and I fear that many who claim the name of Jesus are proclaiming it from a spot on the “broad way”, for Satan is always painting a picture of health, wealth and popularity that draws to the “many”, but we must be discerning for our own sake as well as the sake of those whom God has placed in our path to influence and help to find/see the “narrow road”!  Check out their behavior, don’t just follow the tune they are singing!

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.

15 Beware of false prophets,

which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly

they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits.

Do men gather grapes of thorns,

or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree

bringeth forth good fruit;

but a corrupt tree

bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree

cannot bring forth evil fruit,

neither can a corrupt tree

bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit

is hewn down,

and cast into the fire.

20 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 7:13-23

Knowing this truth, I believe, is at least part of the reason that Paul warns us in his letter to the Galatians, who were also in danger of deceit, to walk in “the Spirit” not the flesh.  We must begin to develop our spiritual senses, if you would, and leave this worldly deceit behind!  Oh Lord, please open my eyes to see what YOU see!  Just because it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, doesn’t mean it IS a duck; it may be a wolf in sheep’s clothes! Watch that behavior, it’s what Jesus said would tell the tale—for us and others!

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth

against the Spirit,

and the Spirit

against the flesh:

and these are contrary the one to the other:

so that ye cannot do

the things that ye would…

…. 25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also

walk in the Spirit.”  Galatians 5:16-17 & 25

Peter also broached this subject to the scattered believers and warned them not to be “deceived” by “plastic” words that change with the season, popular ideology, greed, or worldly appeal, and to remember the truth of Jesus and press on; knowing there is a coming judgement of God to prepare for!  Remember God’s Word is the standard by which judgment will come.

For the word of God

is quick,

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

And Peter’s warning:

But there were false prophets

also among the people,

even as there shall be false teachers

among you,

who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,

even denying the Lord that bought them,

and bring upon themselves

swift destruction.

2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways;

by reason of whom

the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

3 And through covetousness

shall they with feigned words

make merchandise of you:

whose judgment now

of a long time

lingereth not,

and their damnation

slumbereth not.”  2 Peter 2:1-3

So, we need to be aware of not only the truth of God’s Word, but that there are also “false prophetsand “false teachers” among us, who desire to deceive us and, as Peter puts it, “make merchandise of you”!  Greed is a great motivator—and there are a lot of greedy people who want to lead us down that “broad road…to destruction”!  So, put on your “whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day”; for the evil day is here—now!  And Paul said it better than I can:

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 15:57-58

Amen and Amen!!!

We Don’t Always Know Now??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 17

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 17   We Don’t Always Know Now???

Boast not thyself

of to morrow;

for thou knowest not

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

I was checking the news earlier today, and there was another automobile accident with a fatality; we’ve had multiple reports of this kind of thing in the last few months, and it leads me to share a bit of God’s Word to remind us that we don’t know what tomorrow (even the rest of today) holds for us!  God reminds us through this proverb that we are not in control over the circumstances and environment around us!  Jesus spoke of this reality, and I think we need to consider that we only have “now”!  I know for me, it is so easy to let my mind run so far afield of where I ‘am’, and fret over what I don’t know or see, yet we are called to walk by faith, trusting God like Job!

Though he slay me,

yet will I trust in him:

but I will maintain mine own ways

before him.”  Job 13:15

For I know that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand

at the latter day

upon the earth:

 26 And though after my skin worms

destroy this body,

yet in my flesh

shall I see God:

27 Whom I shall see

for myself,

 and mine eyes

shall behold,

and not another;

though my reins be consumed

within me.”  Job 19:25-27

Do you know?  I know that I know that I know that I know…I know!!!  What do you know?  What do you value? Is it Jesus?

Therefore I say unto you,

Take no thought for your life,

what ye shall eat,

or what ye shall drink;

nor yet for your body,

what ye shall put on.

Is not the life

more than meat,

and the body

than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air:

for they sow not,

neither do they reap,

nor gather into barns;

 yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.

Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought

can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought

for raiment?

Consider the lilies of the field,

how they grow;

they toil not,

neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you,

That even Solomon in all his glory

was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,

which to day is,

and to morrow is cast into the oven,

shall he not much more

clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 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 6:25-34

OH, my goodness—please help me, Jesus, to learn what real faith is—to learn how to keep my eyes on YOU and not the world—to seek you first—to learn to trust you when I see nothing but trouble, and the evil in the world—may I be like Job and camp out on YOU, LORD Jesus, walking right before you, no matter what!

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.”  Hebrews 12:1-4

Will we measure our lives by God’s Word or the world’s?  Have we become molded to the world’s view?  May we receive the word of challenge and encouragement which Paul shared with the believers at Rome, that our life will be a testament before the world of all that is “that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”!  It won’t look like the world’s way or be very popular with those around us!  The choice is yours, but choose wisely, there is a test!

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

May we pursue the will of God in all we “are and do” remembering there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain, and there are little feet following us!  Where will we lead them?

Amen and Amen!!!

What’cha Doing With Your Cup??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 16

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 16   What’cha Doing With Your Cup???

Just a reminder this morning that God knows where you are and where I am, with all of our circumstances, pains, weakness, sorrow, or confusion, and HE speaks to us; will we but hear and heed what HE has to say!  We are called to follow HIM and leave the results and/or credit to JESUS!

He that receiveth you

receiveth me,

and he that receiveth me

receiveth him that sent me.

41 He that receiveth a prophet

in the name of a prophet

shall receive a prophet’s reward;

and he that receiveth a righteous man

in the name of a righteous man

shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

42 And whosoever shall give to drink

unto one of these little ones

a cup of cold water

only in the name of a disciple,

verily I say unto you,

 he shall in no wise lose his reward.”  Matthew 10:40-42

One of the things that Jesus is telling us here is that none of us minister alone, and sometimes we’re called to be the “water boy” to assist the “prophet” on their way!  So, according to Jesus, if we are the “prophet” or the “water boy”, we each have our reward for service to HIM!  If we take up our cross and follow Jesus, the work and the rewards are according to HIS call and our willingness to serve, regardless of the task!

What are we doing for Jesus?  What has HE called you to be and do?  For the “being” must precede the doing, for if I have not yet become a child of God by being born again, the “doing” is our own, and not HIS work.  And as we have looked at recently, Jesus makes it clear in John 15, that we must abide in “the vine” to produce worthwhile fruit.

I am the true vine,

and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me

that beareth not fruit

he taketh away:

and every branch

that beareth fruit,

he purgeth it,

that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean

through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me,

and I in you.

As the branch

cannot bear fruit of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye,

except ye abide in me.

5 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 15:1-5

What is your source; that upon which you depend for life, hope, strength, and direction?  If it’s not Jesus, then our work is of no real value.  Paul describes it in the most concise and picturesque way, let’s peruse its truth.

According to the grace of God

which is given unto me,

as a wise masterbuilder,

I have laid the foundation,

and another buildeth thereon.

But let every man take heed

how he buildeth thereupon.

11 For other foundation

can no man lay

than that is laid,

which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation

gold,

silver,

precious stones,

wood,

hay,

stubble;

13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest:

for the day shall declare it,

because it shall be revealed

by fire;

and the fire shall try every man’s work

of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide

which he hath built thereupon,

he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man’s work

shall be burned,

he shall suffer loss:

but he himself shall be saved;

yet so as by fire.

16 Know ye not

that ye are the temple of God,

and that the Spirit of God

dwelleth in you?”  1 Corinthians 3:10-16

Just as Jesus told His disciples, and us, in John 15, “for without me ye can do nothing”!  Do we really understand what this means?  Jesus makes it clear that He has called us to “do HIS work” not our own.  We can build with the wood, hay, and stubble, but when put to the fire test, it will burn for it is only that which is of “this world”, in contrast to the mined treasures that God created in the belly of the earth, and they must be mined by our earnest labor in the “field” of God; pursuing the things of God not the things that impress men!  The harvest is God’s, and we must labor in HIS Spirit, and HIS power not our own.

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,

teaching in their synagogues,

and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,

and healing every sickness and every disease

among the people.

36 But when he saw the multitudes,

he was moved with compassion on them,

because they fainted,

and were scattered abroad,

as sheep having no shepherd.

37 Then saith he unto his disciples,

The harvest truly is plenteous,

but the labourers are few;

38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,

 that he will send forth labourers

into his harvest.”  Matthew 9:35-38

I find it curious that in this conversation with His disciples, Jesus didn’t say “GO”, but HE said “PRAY” that God, “the Lord of the harvest” would “send forth labourers into his harvest”!  The harvest is God’s, and we are to pray that HE will send forth at HIS will, direction, calling and equipping!  And my friend, if you decide that YOU want to go “harvest”, you better be sure that it is God’s call and not your own—for HE IS LORD of the harvest, the work, the calling, and the sending; and if you are moved to do a work, you better be praying that God will send forth the right workers for the right job.  And that may or may not be YOU.

GOD may be calling you to support the work of those who are sent.  We aren’t to run ahead of God but take the cup of water that HE puts in our hand and supply whatever need Jesus places in front of us—with or without the recognition of the world.  God doesn’t call the equipped—he equips the called!

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren,

I would not have you ignorant.

2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles,

carried away unto these dumb idols,

even as ye were led.

3 Wherefore I give you to understand,

that no man speaking by the Spirit of God

calleth Jesus accursed:

and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord,

but by the Holy Ghost.

4 Now there are diversities of gifts,

but the same Spirit.

5 And there are differences of administrations,

but the same Lord.

6 And there are diversities of operations,

but it is the same God

which worketh all in all.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit

is given to every man

to profit withal.

8 For to one is given

by the Spirit the word of wisdom;

to another

the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9 To another faith

by the same Spirit;

to another the gifts of healing

by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles;

to another prophecy;

to another discerning of spirits;

to another divers kinds of tongues;

to another the interpretation of tongues:

11 But all these worketh

that one and the selfsame Spirit,

dividing to every man severally as he will.

12 For as the body is one,

and hath many members,

and all the members of that one body,

being many,

are one body:

so also is Christ.”  1 Corinthians 12:1-12

While this is a lengthy passage, the main thing I wanted us to see is that the gifts are given by the “Holy Spirit” at His will—HIS choosing—the choice of God The Holy Spirit to accomplish HIS work within and through the body of Christ, the church; one body doing a corporate, yet individual, work of their LORD JESUS!  It’s not about ‘me’ or ‘you’—it’s about JESUS, our Lord!  What are we doing with the ‘cup of water’ that Jesus has given each of us.  Are we so busy doing our thing, that we have missed the “call of God” upon our life?  May we do as God told the nation of Israel in the book of Haggai, when they had returned to Jerusalem, “consider your ways”.  Maybe we’ll look at that little book soon.

May God speak to our hearts today and open our eyes to see HIS call.  May we truly “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers“! May we use our cup wisely and obediently for God’s glory not our own!

For who hath known the mind of the Lord?

or who hath been his counsellor?

35 Or who hath first given to him,

and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

36 For of him,

and through him,

and to him,

are all things: to whom be glory

 for ever. Amen.”  Romans 11:34-36

Amen and Amen!!!

A Word On The Tongue??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #38

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A Word On The Tongue???  A Word from THE WORD!!!  #38

I would simply like to remind us all—especially myself, as a ‘blogger’—of the amazing words of James on the use of our tongue.  Oh, that we would heed them today—every day!

My brethren,

be not many masters,

knowing that we shall receive

the greater condemnation.

2 For in many things we offend all.

If any man offend not in word,

the same is a perfect man,

and able also to bridle the whole body.

3 Behold, we put bits

in the horses’ mouths,

that they may obey us;

and we turn about their whole body.

4 Behold also the ships,

which though they be so great,

and are driven of fierce winds,

yet are they turned about

with a very small helm,

whithersoever the governor listeth.

5 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.

9 Therewith bless we God,

even the Father;

and therewith curse we men,

which are made after the similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth

proceedeth blessing

and cursing.

My brethren,

these things ought not so to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth

at the same place

sweet water

and bitter?

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren,

bear olive berries?

either a vine,

figs?

so can no fountain

both yield salt water

and fresh.

13 Who is a wise man

and endued with knowledge among you?

let him shew out of a good conversation

his works

with meekness of wisdom.

14 But if ye have bitter envying

and strife

 in your hearts,

glory not,

and lie not

against the truth.

15 This wisdom descendeth not from above,

but is earthly,

sensual,

devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is,

there is confusion

and every evil work.

17 But the wisdom that is from above

is first pure,

then peaceable,

gentle,

and easy to be intreated,

full of mercy

and good fruits,

without partiality,

and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness

is sown in peace

of them that make peace.”  James 3:1-18

I pray that we will receive the Word of God and lovingly obey!

Wherefore, my beloved brethren,

let every man be swift to hear,

slow to speak,

slow to wrath:

20 For the wrath of man

worketh not the righteousness of God.

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness

and superfluity of naughtiness,

and receive with meekness

the engrafted word,

which is able to save your souls.

22 But be ye doers of the word,

and not hearers only,

deceiving your own selves.”  James 1:19-22

Amen and Amen!!!