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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 15   YOU DO Make A Difference???

I was thinking about how often we let circumstances get us discouraged, yet God has promised that HE is our sufficiency and strength no matter our circumstance.

I can do all things

through Christ

which strengtheneth me.”  Philippians 4:13

On the opposite side is the truth that Jesus made clear to His disciples just before He was crucified; without JESUS we can do nothing of eternal spiritual value, but when we are walking with Him, through HIS power we can do anything that HE asks us to do.  We are going to make a difference in one way or another—we will be an influence for good, for GOD, or we will be an influence for the enemy of our souls, and the souls of our children and grandchildren, a difference with eternal consequences.

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

So, not to be overly simplistic, we can choose to walk with Jesus in faith, grace, and power, or we can be discouraged, distracted, and disappointed by the influence of the world, which we are called to recognize and reject, by renewing our minds in God’s Word, HIS ways, and HIS supply.  When I know what God has said, I am empowered to walk in victory.  But I must, absolutely must, be grounded in HIS Word to walk in that victory, by walking in the ways of my LORD!  Peter gives us an amazing example of godly behavior patterned after our Lord and Savior!

For this is thankworthy,

if a man for conscience toward God

endure grief,

suffering wrongfully.

20 For what glory is it, if,

when ye be buffeted for your faults,

ye shall take it patiently?

but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it,

ye take it patiently,

this is acceptable with God.

21 For even hereunto were ye called:

because Christ also suffered for us,

leaving us an example,

that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin,

neither was guile found in his mouth:

23 Who, when he was reviled,

reviled not again;

when he suffered,

he threatened not;

but committed himself to him

that judgeth righteously:

24 Who his own self

bare our sins

in his own body

on the tree,

that we,

being dead to sins,

should live unto righteousness:

by whose stripes

ye were healed.

25 For ye were as sheep

going astray;

but are now returned

unto the Shepherd

and Bishop

of your souls.”  1 Peter 2:29-25

If we look at the last verse here, verse 25, we are taken back to Isaiah 53, which is one of the ultimate descriptive passages of the “suffering servant”, Jesus, the Shepherd of our souls, by the sacrifice of Himself, the Lamb of God, who heals us from our “sin sickness”, which was and is a fatal disease if we reject the “blood of Jesus” which can cleanse us from all sin; the disease from which we all suffer, and for which Jesus IS the only cure! (I think you would find it most enlightening to read all of Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22—Jesus paid the price for our sin!)

He is despised and rejected of men;

a man of sorrows,

and acquainted with grief:

and we hid as it were our faces

from him;

he was despised,

and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs,

and carried our sorrows:

yet we did esteem him stricken,

smitten of God,

and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded

for our transgressions,

he was bruised

for our iniquities:

the chastisement of our peace

was upon him;

and with his stripes

we are healed.

6 All we like sheep

have gone astray;

we have turned every one

to his own way;

and the LORD hath laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed,

and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth:

he is brought as a lamb

to the slaughter,

and as a sheep

before her shearers is dumb,

so he openeth not his mouth.”  Isaiah 53:3-7

This suffering servant, Jesus, gave His all so that we can become new creatures and fulfill HIS purposes for our lives.  And oh, how grateful I am for God’s grace and mercy that not only cleanses us from sin but makes us clean and fresh for HIS service.

If we confess our sins,

he is faithful and just

to forgive us

our sins,

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9

All because of HIS blood—there truly is power IN HIS blood.

But if we walk in the light,

as he is in the light,

we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son

cleanseth us from all sin.”  1 John 1:7

THIS is how we are able to do “all things through Christ”!  It is how we are equipped to bear that abundant fruit that Jesus spoke of in John 15!  So, what are you doing with that which you have been given?  Will we be examples of faith or reveal a vain faith, as James describes.  And I’ll simply close with two passages from James, and pray that you and I will ponder what God has said, and either get right with God and go forth—whether in being born again by repentance and faith or simply confessing our sin and shortcomings as a child of God and receiving HIS forgiveness and cleansing “from all sin”? Salvation and restoration available!

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,

dwhich is able to save your souls.

22 But be ye doers

 of the word,

and not

hearers only,

deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word,

and not a doer,

he is like unto a man

beholding his natural face in a glass:

 24 For he beholdeth himself,

and goeth his way,

and straightway forgetteth

what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh

into the perfect law of liberty,

and continueth therein,

he being not a forgetful hearer,

but a doer of the work,

this man shall be blessed

in his deed.”  James 1:19-25

And the second important passage from James:

What doth it profit, my brethren,

though a man say he hath faith,

and have not works?

can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister

be naked,

and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them,

Depart in peace,

be ye warmed

and filled;

notwithstanding ye give them not

those things which are needful

to the body;

what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith,

if it hath not works,

is dead,

being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say,

Thou hast faith,

and I have works:

shew me thy faith

without thy works,

and I will shew thee my faith

by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God;

thou doest well:

the devils also believe,

and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know,

O vain man,

that faith without works

is dead?”  James 2:14-19

May God grant us wisdom to receive HIS truth and assessment of our lives and make the appropriate corrections! (See 2 Timothy 2:15 and 3:16-17).  Let’s make a difference FOR Jesus!!!J

Amen and Amen!!!