Tidbits From Paul For A Friday!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #585

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #585   Tidbits From Paul On A Friday!!!                                                           (Early post for Friday due to technical issues!)

 

I simply want to share a word from the Apostle Paul; a concise word of encouragement that is one of my ‘go to’ passages of scripture.  It speaks for itself, so let’s go!

Rejoice in the Lord

alway:

and again I say,

Rejoice.

5 Let your moderation

be known unto all men.

The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing;

but in every thing

by prayer

and supplication

with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known

unto God.

7 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 4:4-9

May we ever:

Rejoice IN The Lord—always—

Live with moderation (before a world of excess)—

Not worry, but thankfully look to God in all things—

Trust to God’s peace to direct and comfort our steps—

(which the world doesn’t understand!)

Keep our minds focused on things that are:

True-

Honest-

Just-

Pure-

Lovely-

Reputable-

Virtuous-

Praise-worthy!

Ever-learning from those who have gone before, as well as those who are faithfully serving, obeying and setting the example of holy living before us now!   Living lives that exhibit God’s character before a world that will often misunderstand, and/or ridicule us for our devotion and obedience to God!

I pray that this will encourage you today, and remind you that you are loved, prayed for, and needed by a world seeking ‘real’ followers of Jesus!  May we ever be ‘real’ in all our ways; pointing others to “the only Savior”—Jesus!

Neither is there salvation in any other:

for there is none other name under heaven

given among men,

whereby we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

Cups Of Water For The Little Ones!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #584

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #584   Cups Of Water For The Little Ones!!!

 

Except the LORD build the house,

they labour in vain that build it:

except the LORD keep the city,

the watchman waketh but in vain.

2 It is vain for you

to rise up early,

to sit up late,

to eat the bread of sorrows:

for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

3 Lo, children

are an heritage of the LORD:

and the fruit of the womb

is his reward.

4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;

so are children of the youth.

5 Happy is the man

that hath his quiver full of them:

they shall not be ashamed,

but they shall speak with the enemies

in the gate.”   Psalm 127:1-5

I just want to share a word today about the joy and delight of children!  We live in a culture of death—kill the babies but save the trees, or the whales, or the puppies, just not the babies—where life is without value and oft-times children (born and unborn) have little or no worth to our world.  Yet children are our hope—the hope that God grants perpetually!

Scripture is replete with stories of the dangers that lie in wait for children; Moses and the male babies were in danger of Pharaoh’s sword; King Joash was hidden by his sister from the wicked Athaliah who sought to kill him; even our precious Lord was delivered from the sword of Herod! There have always been those who take no delight in children for various reasons; and it seems that in our culture we regularly sacrifice our children (both the born and the unborn) to the gods of convenience, selfishness, success, eternal youth, and a host of other self-consuming evils.  God reminds us that children are our heritage—how sad that our ‘heritage’ is in such danger in these wicked days.  I don’t mean to be negative, but we all need to be reminded that GOD gives us children as a reminder of His love, His creative power, His design for the home, and His love for us!

We had the privilege of taking one of our young friends on a day of adventure yesterday, and it is such a delight to be around the young—they are so fresh, so open to see new things and learn from us, yet we are so often unaware of opportunities lost to affect the next generation—if we don’t affect them for God, there are other people and things out there seeking to destroy them!  We must take the time, the energy and the love to touch these precious gifts from God. Send a card, hug a child, give a small gift of love, share a story of your life with one of God’s “little people”!  After all God’s greatest gift to us was a “child”—the one born to save us, to love us, to grow us into HIS own image, and HE LOVES children!

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 3:16-18

Children are important to God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit, even the holy angels of heaven!  Here are just a few excerpts of things Jesus said about these “Little Ones”!  May we make the effort to touch and affect these precious “little ones” for Jesus?

And whosoever shall give to drink

unto one of these little ones

a cup of cold water …”. Matthew 10:42a

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones

which believe in me,

it were better for him

that a millstone were hanged about his neck,

and that he were drowned

in the depth of the sea…

…10 Take heed that ye despise not

one of these little ones;

for I say unto you, That in heaven

their angels do always behold

the face of my Father which is in heaven.

11 For the Son of man is come

to save that which was lost…

…14 Even so it is not the will

of your Father which is in heaven,

that one of these little ones

should perish.”    Portions of Matthew 18:6-14

Watch out today for that little one whom God may send your way!  Make a difference in the life of a child (regardless of their age!)!  Let’s make a difference in our circle of influence—for we each have a different circle—God gave you yours, just as He has given me mine. Enjoy God, bless others, walk faithfully before our Lord today—spreading a simple “cup of cold water” of HIS love today—it’s all we have!!!  Amen and Amen!!!

Hush Money Or True Hope??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 03

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 03  Hush Money Or True Hope???

 

We talked last week about ‘DIY’ and I’d like to take off on that idea and look from another side of the issue.  We are living in a culture that is so full of an “it’s all about me” ideology, and even when we speak truth, we are seen as ‘haters’! I hope that we can let scripture reveal true hope, not placating people with ‘hush’ money, so to speak, by our silence, rather than helping them see Jesus as we speak and share truth!

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

Jesus IS truth, and without Him, we have no hope, no truth, no opportunity to reach a lost and dying world.  Yet when we follow HIM, we can see great things accomplished in His kingdom (even though the world may disregard what we call great ‘in Him’!)

I can do all

things through Christ

which strengtheneth me.”   Philippians 4:13

In the way of the world, unless we have ‘riches’ we don’t have anything to offer; but God does things in ways that are so far beyond the ‘worldly’ way, that we can truly come to have hope and confidence in our Lord and HIS ways—and we aren’t to be ‘quiet’ about it, Jesus said the rocks would ‘cry out’ if men didn’t!

And when the builders laid the foundation

of the temple of the LORD,

they set the priests in their apparel

with trumpets,

and the Levites the sons of Asaph

with cymbals,

to praise the LORD,

after the ordinance of David

king of Israel.

11 And they sang together by course

in praising

and giving thanks

unto the LORD;

because he is good,

for his mercy endureth for ever

toward Israel.

And all the people shouted with a great shout,

when they praised the LORD,

because the foundation

of the house of the LORD

was laid.”  Ezra 3:10-11

When we see God at work, we can truly learn to trust His hand as well as His heart toward us.  Here we have the children of Israel returning to Jerusalem and they are rejoicing that the temple is rebuilt.  And if you read the entire account, you see that some of the elders of the people wept for the remembrance of the original Temple of Solomon, yet God has restored them by His ‘outstretched arm’, and shown Himself faithful to a people (who much like us) had not been faithful to HIM!  They had suffered the judgment of God, and had truly reaped the ‘whirlwind’, yet God wasn’t finished with them!  His faithfulness is so much more than we can even fathom!  God had spoken truth through His prophets, yet they had listened to the false prophets, and ‘hushed’ up the men of God by ignoring them, persecuting them, and even putting many of them to death.  How sad that we are living in a very similar day.  Will we sell out to the purveyors of “hush money” or will we stand and speak God’s truth?

And ye shall know the truth,

and the truth

shall make you free.”  John 8:32

Notice that He will “make you free” not ‘set’ you free—when Jesus saves us, He delivers us—especially from ourselves; and we are to give ourselves to Him, His way and His truth—all the way!

And they overcame him

by the blood of the Lamb,

and by the word of their testimony;

and they loved not their lives

unto the death.”  Revelation 12:11

Jesus doesn’t simply issue a “get out of hell free” card; rather He saves and transforms lives to “be conformed” to HIS image.

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.”   Romans 8:28-29

Jesus is ever at work conforming us into HIS image; but we have a part in that work as well, we are to yield to His Holy Spirit’s work in our heart and life, remembering that it’s ALL about Jesus. It’s not about ‘pride’ but humbly learning from HIM, following HIM, and touching the world as HE gives us opportunity.

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.

3 For I say, through the grace given unto me,

to every man that is among you,

not to think of himself more highly

than he ought to think;

but to think soberly,

according as God

hath dealt to every man

the measure of faith.”   Romans 12:1-3

We can trust to HIS care, remembering what Jesus said!

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

We must keep our eyes on Jesus, as we feast on His Word.

Shew me thy ways,

O LORD;

teach me thy paths.

5 Lead me in thy truth,

 and teach me:

for thou art the God of my salvation;

on thee do I wait

all the day.”   Psalm 25::4-5

For the word of the LORD is right;

and all his works are done

in truth.

5 He loveth righteousness

and judgment:

the earth is full

of the goodness of the LORD.”   Psalm 33:4-5

And to bring all of our thoughts together today, I’d like us to consider an encounter that Peter and John had, taking heart from these who had little in the world’s eyes, but who had JESUS, and they knew HE IS TRUTH—and they took no “hush” money!

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb

was carried,

whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple

which is called Beautiful,

to ask alms of them that entered

into the temple;

3 Who seeing Peter and John

about to go into the temple

asked an alms.

4 And Peter,

fastening his eyes upon him with John, said,

Look on us.

5 And he gave heed unto them,

expecting to receive something

of them.

6 Then Peter said,

Silver and gold have I none;

but such as I have

give I thee:

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth

rise up and walk.

7 And he took him by the right hand,

and lifted him up:

and immediately his feet and ankle bones

received strength.

8 And he leaping up stood,

and walked,

and entered with them into the temple,

walking,

and leaping,

and praising God.”  Acts 3:1-8

Peter and John gave of what they had (who they possessed, and who possessed them), and yet they were tempted to cave!  And for time and space we’ll just jump to the response from the rulers.  (You can read chapters 3 and 4 for the whole picture!). They proclaimed Jesus at each turn, and when threatened they stood firm—and weren’t “hushed” up by threats; they were trusting to HIS care!  Remember not everyone is happy with God’s working in the lives of men, women, boys and girls!

And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,

2 Being grieved that they taught the people,

and preached through Jesus

the resurrection from the dead.

3 And they laid hands on them,

and put them in hold unto the next day:

for it was now eventide…

….16 Saying, What shall we do to these men?

for that indeed a notable miracle

hath been done

by them

is manifest to all them

that dwell in Jerusalem;

and we cannot deny it.

17 But that it spread no further among the people,

let us straitly threaten them,

that they speak henceforth to no man

in this name.

18 And they called them,

and commanded them

not to speak at all nor teach

in the name of Jesus.

19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them,

Whether it be right in the sight of God

to hearken unto you

more than unto God,

judge ye.

20 For we cannot but speak the things

which we have seen

and heard.

21 So when they had further threatened them,

they let them go,

finding nothing how they might punish them,

because of the people:

for all men glorified God

for that which was done.”   Portions of Acts 4:1-21

So my challenge for us today is a call to be faithful to our Lord; to grow in His Word, to be bold—but not arrogant, to be confident—but not prideful, to be ready to follow HIM in all—no matter where HE leads us, or what the cost may be.  We won’t let the enemy ‘hush’ us up, but we will “stand fast in the evil day”!  We never know how God will use our willingness to obey!

But speaking the truth in love,

may grow up into him

in all things,

which is the head,

even Christ:”  Ephesians 4:15.

Amen and Amen!

Smile And Rejoice!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #583

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #583     Smile And Rejoice!!!

Rejoice

in the Lord alway:

and again I say,

Rejoice.

5 Let your moderation be known

unto all men.

The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing;

but in every thing

by prayer

and supplication

with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known

unto God.

7 And the peace of God,

which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts

and minds

through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:4-7

May we look up today and praise God for all of His wondrous grace and love toward us!  Let’s take some time today to praise our Lord; it will lift the heart no matter your circumstances.  Our God is so good, and the scriptures are replete with reminders to praise HIM always! Remember “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world…”. (See 1 Jn. 4:4). So, let’s simply share a few passages to encourage our hearts today!  REJOICE IN THE LORD! Always!

The LORD is my strength

and my shield;

my heart trusted in him,

and I am helped:

therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth;

and with my song will I praise him.”  Psalm 28:7

Let all those that seek thee

rejoice

and be glad

in thee:

let such as love thy salvation

say continually,

The LORD be magnified.

17 But I am poor and needy;

yet the Lord thinketh upon me:

thou art my help

and my deliverer;

make no tarrying,

O my God.”  Psalm 40:16-17

This is the day

which the LORD hath made;

we will rejoice

and be glad in it.”   Psalm 118:24

I pray that your hope is in God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—may we confidently rejoice in our God who reigns!!!

He will swallow up death in victory;

and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears

from off all faces;

and the rebuke of his people

shall he take away from off all the earth:

for the LORD hath spoken it.

9 And it shall be said in that day,

Lo, this is our God;

we have waited for him,

and he will save us:

this is the LORD;

we have waited for him,

we will be glad and rejoice

in his salvation.”  Isaiah 25:8-9

Amen and Amen!!!

Iron Or Putty??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #582

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #582     Iron Or Putty???

 

Iron sharpeneth iron;

so a man sharpeneth

the countenance

of his friend.”   Proverbs 27:17

A friend loveth

at all times,

and a brother

is born for adversity.”  Proverbs 17:7

I want to take just a few moments today to celebrate ‘friends’!  I have been abundantly blessed through the years with amazing friends.  Scripture tells us the key to having real friends is relatively simple—not easy but simple!

A man that hath friends

must shew himself friendly:

and there is a friend

that sticketh closer

than a brother.”  Proverbs 18:24

To have friends, we must ‘be’ a friend! We must be willing to risk heartache as we reach out to others.  Now, this isn’t a popular idea if you follow the ideology of social media; which says, “If you don’t meet my needs, or if you are inconvenient, or if you fail in some way—then I just need to avoid, dump or otherwise exclude you from my life.”  I’m not saying that we aren’t to have boundaries, but we are to exercise grace, love and endurance toward others, as Jesus has extended these qualities to us!

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking,

be put away from you,

with all malice:

32 And be ye kind

one to another,

tenderhearted,

forgiving one another,

even as God

for Christ’s sake

hath forgiven you.”    Ephesians 4:31-32

That must not be right!  Afterall, I am the center of the universe! Right?  Well, to be quite truthful, that may be a popular attitude, but it surely isn’t biblical!  We are called to be iron sharpening iron—not silly putty, that changes to match the shape of the moment.  So, my question for us today is simply this; “Are we being ‘iron’ support for our friends, or are we so demanding of perfection from others, that we have failed to realize that we have been saved by grace, to serve Jesus and others?”  Are we walking in His ways or the popular social trend of the day?  Scripture makes it quite clear that our goal is to do God’s good works- not the imitation ‘goodness’ of the world; which is basically ‘me and my four, and no more’!

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 2:8-10

So, my friends let’s press on and be that ‘iron sharpening iron’ that someone may need today!  Blessings on your journey of faith and obedience-don’t ‘putty’ out!  Amen and Amen!!!