Power And Love Over Fear!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #638

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #638     Power And Love Over Fear!!!

 

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 love this verse, yet we so often just quote it and miss the message that Paul was giving to a timid young preacher boy; he was calling Timothy to remember that he was walking, working, preaching and ministering in the power, love and “right thinkingness” of God.  And to think right is to have our mind set on Jesus in all things. (See Phil. 1:6)

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 12:2

Jesus paid the price for us—He saves us, He keeps us, He gives us His Holy Spirit to lead, guide, protect and direct our steps—that we might live for Him in righteousness and truth, with the spirit of HIS love.  Which by the way, He has imparted to us as well!

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.”  Romans 5:5-6

Because we have received His love, we can walk in that love, and respond to our circumstances in confidence of His provision.  So, I encourage each of us to remember that we can walk in victory because our Lord is LORD and KING!  He is coming back, and I want to be found faithful—how about you?  But we can only do that in HIS power.

Finally, my brethren,

       be strong in the Lord,

              and in the power of his might.

              11 Put on the whole armour of God,

                      that ye may be able to stand

                             against the wiles of the devil.”   Ephesians 6:10

God has always shown Himself faithful, and I’ll simply leave you with a couple of reminders of HIS faithful provision—for the ‘battle is the LORD’S”, and we who are “born of the Spirit” never walk alone!  Amen and Amen.

And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah,

and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem,

and thou king Jehoshaphat,

   Thus saith the LORD unto you,

          Be not afraid nor dismayed

                 by reason of this great multitude;

          for the battle is not yours,

                 but God’s.”  2 Chronicles 20:15

And all this assembly shall know

that the LORD saveth

not with sword and spear:

for the battle is the LORD’S,

and he will give you into our hands.”  1 Samuel 17:47

Look Up To Jesus Not Down??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #637

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #637  Look Up To Jesus Not Down???

 

We recently talked about Daniel and his faith, and I would like to share just a brief word today about looking “up” to The Lord and not “around” at the “lions” who are roaring around us.  Here is my paraphrase of Psalm 121.

 “I will lift up mine eyes—I look around for help–

unto the hills,–at all around me (situations)-

from whence cometh—then I consider my source–

my help.—knowing that I am helpless alone–

2 My help—I look to God, He knows my helplessness–

cometh from the LORD,–God IS MY source–

which made heaven and earth.—Creator–

3 He will not suffer thy foot—my steps are HIS-

to be moved:–He helps me stand in truth–

he that keepeth thee—I’m secure in HIS care–

will not slumber.—He IS always with me–

4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel—Always–

shall neither slumber nor sleep.—Vigilant-

5 The LORD—The Savior before whom I bow–

is thy keeper:–HE never leaves or fails–

the LORD—The God who is sufficient in all things–

is thy shade—stops the glare from blinding me–

upon thy right hand.—ever reachable–

6 The sun—no forces of this world control me–

shall not smite thee by day,— nor harm me-

nor the moon—even the reflections don’t harm–

by night.—for My God IS Light–

7 The LORD—The King who rules–

shall preserve thee—The God Who keeps–

from all evil:–I can trust to His care–

he shall preserve—He accomplishes His work in me–

thy soul.—He works in the core of my being–

8 The LORD—The Ruler of all events and time–

shall preserve—He keeps me from corruption–

thy going out—when I’m exhausted–

and thy coming in—when I’m full–

from this time forth,–even right now–

and even for evermore.”—and always!

I pray that God will comfort, encourage and strengthen you today and each day as you remember to look to the Lord not those lions that are surrounding you.  Blessings on you and yours as we all face the difficult circumstances around us!

Amen and Amen!!!

 

 

The Blood Of Jesus Cleanses??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 03

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 03  The Blood Of Jesus Cleanses???

 

I want to share a difficult thing with you today, a subject that the world avoids, almost at all costs—in fact, at the cost of their souls.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples,

If any man will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it:

and whosoever will lose his life

for my sake

shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?

27 For the Son of man

shall come

in the glory of his Father

with his angels;

and then he shall reward

every man

according to his works.”  Matthew 16:24-27

Jesus told his followers that there was only one choice in life that really matters—what you do with HIM!  We can try to save our own lives, or we can trust to the Only One who can truly give eternal life, not only in the “sweet by and by” but in the “here and now”!  Even in the midst of ‘viruses’.  And just as importantly our choice will be judged one day—Jesus is coming again, to claim His own who are His bride, but also to judge those who have rejected HIM, even as He said here, “every man according to his works”!  While the cost of following Jesus is totally by faith, through grace, there is an evidence, as Jesus Himself declares:

If any man will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

We cannot cling to self, flesh, lust, sin, greed, etc… and cling to Jesus at the same time!

No man can serve two masters:

for either he will hate the one,

and love the other;

or else he will hold to the one,

and despise the other.

Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  Matthew 6:24

We must make a choice, and we need to consider the import of our privilege to choose—for there is a test coming, and you will answer for yourself!  There won’t be any defense without Jesus—not your momma, not your spouse, not your credentials, not your education, not your money, fame or power…without Jesus you will stand ‘speechless’ before God. (See Revelation 20:11-15)

And as it is appointed

unto men once to die,

but after this

the judgment:”   Hebrews 9:27

And Jesus will hold us accountable according to HIS Word not my opinion or yours, or the government’s, or Hollywood’s, or popular trends, snaps, chats, or tweets!  And Judge Jesus knows truth (HE is truth) and HIS Word will be the standard.

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

You might want to make a list of all these things that The Word of God is doing, will do and consider your ways!  For Jesus made it very clear that HE knows truth—as my momma always said: “You can fool all of the people some of the time; and you can fool some of the people all of the time; but YOU CAN’T FOOL GOD:” (Not God The Father, God The Son, or God The Holy Spirit!)!

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 7:21-23

I know I have belabored this issue, and we’ll get to the hard part in a bit, but I am compelled to remind us all that there is only ONE WAY to God, and HIS name is Jesus, and eternal life isn’t a pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by thing, it is new life right now, eternal living as one who is “seated in” Heavenly places by the blood of Jesus that grants to us not only new life, but abundant life, victorious life, no matter how it looks to a world who hates HIM!  They hated Him when He was here on earth and He warned us that those who are His will suffer the same consequences from time to time.  Jesus reminded His disciples of this very thing on His way to the cross!  And if we have “taken up our cross” and are truly “following” Jesus, our lives will make ripples around us, causing others to keep their distance, ridicule our convictions, and call us unkind names—but we have been warned, by our Lord!

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 15:18-21

Not a very popular message, but one that we desperately need today!  And my friends, if you don’t see the hand of God at work around us, you might want to open your eyes, or take off your blinders!  Jesus is at work in all around us—always has been, ever will be!  Are you listening for His voice, reading His Word and preparing for His return?  Or are you so caught up in the bling of the world that your ears have been dulled, and your eyes don’t see?  Jesus wants all to come, but HE won’t wait forever!  He told Noah, and as true as it was then, it is still true today (although God hasn’t given us the time!)

And the LORD said,

My spirit shall not always strive with man,

for that he also is flesh:

yet his days shall be

an hundred and twenty years.”   Genesis 6:3

And the Apostle Peter shows us the other side, and reminds us that God’s timing isn’t our timing, but don’t wait too long, for as Jesus said, we don’t know “what a day may bring forth”!

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,

that one day is with the Lord

as a thousand years,

and a thousand years

as one day.

9 The Lord is not slack

concerning his promise,

as some men count slackness;

but is longsuffering

to us-ward,

not willing that any

should perish,

but that all

should come to repentance.”   2 Peter 3:8-9

God wants YOU, but He has given us the privilege of free-will to choose.  What will you do with your choice?  There is a test.

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;

and him that cometh to me

I will in no wise cast out.

38 For I came down from heaven,

not to do mine own will,

but the will of him that sent me.

39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me,

that of all which he hath given me

I should lose nothing,

but should raise it up again

at the last day.

40 And this is the will of him that sent me,

that every one which seeth the Son,

and believeth on him,

may have everlasting life:

and I will raise him up at the last day.”  John 6:37-40

And HIS will is for you to come to Him through Jesus!  What will you do with HIM!  He gave His all, His life’s blood for you!

These words spake Jesus,

and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,

Father, the hour is come;

glorify thy Son,

that thy Son also

may glorify thee:

2 As thou hast given him power

over all flesh,

that he should give eternal life

to as many as thou hast given him.

3 And this is life eternal,

that they might know thee

the only true God,

and Jesus Christ,

whom thou hast sent.”  John 17:1-3

To pull all of this together, I want to remind us that it is the blood of Jesus that saves, cleanses, transforms and provides for all that God has saved us to do.  And without that blood (which so many hate) we have no hope.  I want to share a couple more passages and a testimony that I hope will encourage your heart and speak to those who feel hopeless—for JESUS is our hope, through HIS precious blood that saves and delivers!

He that despised Moses’ law

died without mercy

under two or three witnesses:

29 Of how much sorer punishment,

suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy,

who hath trodden under foot the Son of God,

and hath counted the blood

of the covenant,

wherewith he was sanctified,

an unholy thing,

and hath done despite

unto the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know him that hath said,

Vengeance belongeth unto me,

I will recompense,

saith the Lord.

And again,

The Lord shall judge his people.

31 It is a fearful thing

to fall into the hands

of the living God.”  Hebrews 10:28-31

Jesus described this dilemma:

And he beheld them, and said,

 What is this then that is written,

The stone which the builders rejected,

the same is become the head

of the corner?

18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone

shall be broken;

but on whomsoever it shall fall,

 it will grind him to powder.”  Luke 20:17-18

You can bring your brokenness to Jesus and find life, or you can reject His love, grace and salvation and experience His judgment.  I claim the testimony of the saints!

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

How do you come to love Jesus enough to be willing to die for Him?  Only when we realize that HE gave His blood for me; by recognizing the love of God that GAVE HIS SON to pour out His pure, innocent, and sinless blood to pay for the sins of a poor lost wretch like me!  That’s how!  But we have come to a time in our world, in the “church” when the blood of Jesus has little if any value or meaning to many who claim the name of the ONE whose blood was shed for our salvation!  I don’t mean this to be accusatory, but to call us back to the cross and the love of The One who shed HIS blood for ME and YOU—for all who will come to Him in repentance and faith.  Some of you may not want to read any further, as this testimony is a bit graphic, but I feel led to share this very private encounter with my God.

As most of you know, my daughter was murdered just before Christmas last, and of course when you deal with the legal authorities, there are papers, hoops, and such to get things done, and we were finally able to reclaim my daughter’s things last week; her personal affects—phone, cards, clothing, etc.….  We picked up the box of possessions and I almost got sick in the parking lot just knowing what was in that box.  The kind police officer had told me from the beginning that I didn’t want some of those things, and I assured him that I certainly did want them.  Some I needed for practical business matters, but the clothing and such he suggested that I not take.  Well, I did take it all.  It was a hard drive home for my husband and myself, but we got home, rested for a bit and then took the box into our den and began to open each of the marked bags of “evidence” of this crime.

Well of course, the tears began to flow, and heartbreak became reality as we opened each bag, read the label and appraised each item.  The items on the top of the stack were relatively benign, but the deeper we got into the box, the more gruesome the things became that we were pulling out.  And I’ll have to say truthfully, my tears poured as my broken heart realized what had been done to my precious, only daughter.  In fact, they are flowing now, as I write this account.  And the cry of “look what ‘he’ did” (the perpetrator) ….kept coming out again and again as we pulled out blood stained garment after garment.  Without being graphic, it was a heart-wrenching task, but one we knew we needed to do.  While the tears brought some relief, they also brought a heart that went to the cross.  As I looked at each of those gruesome items, I had to come face-to-face with what my JESUS did for me.  Cruel, sinful men took the life of God’s “Only Begotten Son” because HE loved me and wanted to save me from my “SIN”, and you from yours!  MY heart was filled to overflow to think that while my daughter was stolen from me, God GAVE Jesus to die for ME.  And Jesus went to that cross and shed HIS BLOOD for me.  Suffice it to say, I look at things differently today than I did just this time last week.  While I love my God and am grateful for all HE did for me at that cross that drained HIS SON of HIS life’s blood, I want to ask you, “Have you recognized the price that God paid to save YOU?”  I pray that I will never think of that cross in the same way again.  I miss my daughter terribly, but because of that “blood of Jesus” that “cleanseth us from all sin” I know where she is—not because she was a good person, or a good worker, or even because she was a victim—but because in a jail cell 11 years ago she had given her heart to Jesus in repentance and faith.  And while she had made some poor decisions, and fallen back into some dangerous habits that ultimately cost her life, I know that the blood of my daughter in my hands (so to speak) took me back to a cross where God willingly poured out Jesus’ blood for me.  How can I do less than serve Him with my whole being?  I can’t do less, even when others think me extreme, fanatic, or old-fashioned; I simply say, that “Old Time Religion” is good enough for me.  May God open your eyes to see His love and the price that HE paid for YOU!

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

4 But after that the kindness and love

of God our Saviour

toward man appeared,

5 Not by works of righteousness

which we have done,

but according to his mercy

he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration,

and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6 Which he shed on us abundantly

through Jesus Christ

our Saviour;”  Titus 3:3-6

Amen and Amen!!!

Daniel Measured Up! Do We??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #636

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #636  Daniel Measured Up!  Do We???

 

I wasn’t going to post today since I shared a guest post yesterday, but with all of the hoopla going around on social media, I feel compelled to share some biblical insight that seems to be lacking around us.

First of all, let me say that we are to interpret life in light of God’s Word, not interpret God’s Word based on the world events going on around us.  God has been, IS, and ever will BE The Sovereign God Almighty of all creation!  We, His people, are to stand on HIS Word not the latest buzz “philosophy” that is drawing a following.  I feel led to share one of my favorite biblical characters, Daniel; for he gives us an example that is, may I say, less than politically correct!  But Daniel was a man of godly character regardless of his circumstances.

But Daniel purposed in his heart

that he would not defile himself

with the portion of the king’s meat,

nor with the wine which he drank:

therefore he requested

of the prince of the eunuchs

that he might not defile himself.”  Daniel 1:8

This young man (probably a mid to late teen) made up his mind, he “purposed in his heart”, that he would do nothing to “defile himself”!  This requires a bit of context and history to explain Daniel’s plight.  Much of what we hear going around today, proports that God will protect Christians from every harm if they only do “_____”, and you can fill in the blank.  Yet scripture is replete with accounts of God’s people having to suffer the consequences of those around them—and Daniel and his three friends were some of those.  God had been calling His people to repent for a long while, and yet they refused to heed the warning of impending judgment.  Interestingly enough, they had continued to ‘worship’ in their “temple”, yet God had rejected their hypocritical ‘worship’ and called them to come to HIM not religion!

Wherefore the Lord said,

Forasmuch as this people draw near me

with their mouth,

and with their lips

do honour me,

but have removed their heart

far from me,

and their fear toward me

is taught by the precept of men:

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed

to do a marvellous work among this people,

even a marvellous work

and a wonder:

for the wisdom

of their wise men

shall perish,

and the understanding

of their prudent men

shall be hid.”   Isaiah 29:13-14

And this message is one so needed then, and now, that Jesus quoted it to those in His day.

Ye hypocrites,

well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

8 This people draweth nigh unto me

with their mouth,

and honoureth me

with their lips;

but their heart

is far from me.

9 But in vain they do worship me,

teaching for doctrines

the commandments of men.”  Matthew 15:7-9

What is God telling us?  Just as He told Jeremiah to preach repentance, He is still calling people to repent and believe in The Son of God, Jesus.  And when God calls, we can hear and respond in faith or go our own way!  Daniel had been raised in this country who had walked away from God repeatedly, and even with the fires of revival under a godly king, it was, if you would, too little too late!  But delayed his judgment because of the response of a remnant of genuine believers.  Yet judgment came as God had promised, and Daniel and his friends suffered the penalty of captivity—yet even in that captivity, Daniel determined to remain faithful to His God.

And I personally believe (after much study and prayer) that this decision was so significant because Daniel had probably already been ‘ceremonially’ defiled, as these young men were more than likely castrated (as was the custom of the time, for those taken captive for service in the palace).  Yet Daniel and his friends determined to trust The God whom they had trusted before their captivity.  I also find it interesting that they walked faithfully with their God for the whole record of the book of Daniel, and at least Daniel survived the entire 70 years of captivity.

The thing that I want us to consider is this principle of trusting God even in the crises, for sometimes we do suffer for the choices of others; yet when we do, we are to still keep on trusting our God.  And Paul surely wanted us to remember that “ease” isn’t the what we will usually encounter when we “take up our cross“ and “follow” Jesus!

Nevertheless the foundation of God

standeth sure, having this seal,

The Lord knoweth them

that are his.

And, Let every one that nameth

the name of Christ

depart from iniquity.”  2 Timothy 2:19

Yea, and all that will live godly

 in Christ Jesus

shall suffer persecution.”  2 Timothy 3:12

Oh my, we don’t hear that preached very much!  Daniel suffered because of the sin of his nation, but he didn’t doubt, pout, or drop out (as my friend, Pastor Brad, is known to say!).  Daniel stood fast in “the evil day” in which he lived, and in the “evil place” where he was thrust, and he shared truth at every opportunity—even when it was at his own peril.  Why do we think that we are to be immune for this broken world just because we are born again?

In fact, when Daniel was near the end of his life and ministry, he prayed for his people who were about to go back into the land of Israel!  Hopefully his prayer will open some eyes to see that we are to identify with those around us (not join in their sin but identify with our human plight) offering the hope of our “Redeemer” and His life-giving salvation from sin! (Read Daniel 9 in its entirety).

And she shall bring forth a son,

and thou shalt call his name JESUS:

for he shall save his people

from their sins.”  Matthew 1:21

Are you spreading the hope of salvation by the “blood of the Lamb”?  Or are you looking for the “easy” way, the ‘gospel of ease’ rather than the gospel of taking up HIS CROSS!  Are you willing to die to self—or cling to it?

I am crucified

with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth

in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live

by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”    Galatians 2:20

Jesus told us to take up our cross not to dictate to God!  Our circumstances are God’s business, and if all we can do is whine, or complain—who are we really trusting?

And just FYI, Daniel had no temple to attend—he worshipped, prayed, served, and testified where he was because he knew HIS God and HIS Word!  What about you?  I think church attendance is important, and scripture says we aren’t to neglect it, but we must understand that born-again believers “ARE” the church, and we are to “BE” the church not just attend a meeting in a building.  Daniel and his friends prayed together, served God where they were, supported and encouraged one another where they were!  Are we going to follow their example—or stomp our feet and ignore the dangers of our present danger or seek God’s face for our particular situation.  Jesus clearly told us that we aren’t to “tempt God” with our presumption on HIS Word!  I would encourage you to spend some time pondering these things that Jesus left as our example.

And when the tempter came to him, he said,

If thou be the Son of God,

command that these stones

be made bread.

4 But he answered and said,

It is written,

Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every word

that proceedeth

out of the mouth of God.

5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city,

and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

6 And saith unto him,

If thou be the Son of God,

cast thyself down:

for it is written,

He shall give his angels

charge concerning thee:

and in their hands

they shall bear thee up,

lest at any time

thou dash thy foot

against a stone.

7 Jesus said unto him,

It is written again,

Thou shalt not tempt

the Lord thy God.

8 Again, the devil taketh him up

into an exceeding high mountain,

and sheweth him all the kingdoms

of the world,

and the glory of them;

9 And saith unto him,

All these things will I give thee,

if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

10 Then saith Jesus unto him,

Get thee hence, Satan:

for it is written,

Thou shalt worship the Lord

thy God,

and him only shalt thou serve.”  Matthew 4:3-10

Measure what you’re hearing these days by the words of The Master!  Don’t be presumptuous toward God’s sovereignty or His Word; Jesus clearly tells us that we are to trust God for our provision, not step out on our own judgment (See Proverbs 3:5-6); we are never to “tempt” God by presumption on His will or His Word.  Not all promises apply to every situation, there are conditional promises—you need to know God’s Word and the context of what you’re camping on!  And our worship is to totally be directed toward God and not just His blessings and benefits.  Daniel loved, prayed to, served, and worshipped His God continually even though He never made it back to “the temple”!  What about you—do you know HIS Word well enough to practice it at home, to teach it to your children and family?  God calls every believer to know HIS Word!  That means you and me, not just the preachers and teachers!  He doesn’t mean just the “paid” staff!

Study to shew thyself approved unto God,

a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,

rightly dividing the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings:

for they will increase

unto more ungodliness.”   2 Timothy 2:15-16

So, my challenge to each of us is that we will learn to judge things around us biblically and not by popular ‘buzz-words’, memes, and political correctness (which is usually not biblically correct!)!  And Peter’s challenge to us to always consider our Lord’s Word, His life and His example (and while He came to save us from our sin, His life is one we can always trust!), knowing that suffering and persecution are often the normal for genuine believers!  Consider what scripture says, and the lives of those who died for God—in fact spend some time in Hebrews 11:32-40 (it might give you a different take on real ‘Faith’!)

Honour all men.

Love the brotherhood.

Fear God.

Honour the king.

18 Servants, be subject to your masters

with all fear;

not only to the good and gentle,

but also to the froward.

19 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 2:17-25

Are we measuring up to our Lord’s example?  Won’t you join me in drawing near to Jesus, and measuring those things around us with HIS yardstick not the world’s? And remember what Jesus told the woman at the well!

Jesus saith unto her,

Woman, believe me, the hour cometh,

when ye shall neither in this mountain,

nor yet at Jerusalem,

worship the Father.

22 Ye worship ye know not what:

we know what we worship:

for salvation is of the Jews.

23 But the hour cometh, and now is,

when the true worshippers

shall worship the Father

in spirit and in truth:

for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24 God is a Spirit:

and they that worship him

must worship him

in spirit and in truth.”   John 4:21-24

Be safe and blessings on your week.  I’ll be taking some down time and probably won’t post until later next week.  See you soon!

Constant? Bible Ballistics: BBs #635

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Today I share with you a guest post by my friend Taryn Spurlock.  I thought her words so important that I am sharing them today rather than our regular posting time.  I hope you find it as touching and encouraging as I have.

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Taryn Spurlock

con·stant

/ˈkänstənt/

noun

    1. a situation or state of affairs that does not change. 

I’m a pretty routine person. We have a family of three that has pretty consistent order to our week. For me, most weekdays consist of a 4:20am alarm, workout, home a little after 6, quiet time, off to work at 7:30, Creede gets to school, and I get off at 5, and we move on to our evening activity depending on the day of the week. It’s how we roll. For the 1st time in the 11 years of my career I was sent home from work until further notice due to COVID-19 and the recommendations pertaining to my job. My daily situation changed really fast.

As I sit here on my porch writing this, the weather went from cold to hot rather quickly as well. Living in Oklahoma, I know what potential that has for a March day… STORMS. It’s gorgeous right now though. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, my son is out playing with his cousin. You see, that’s how life was rolling along for us… we just bought a new house with land, my husband’s busy season of work was around the corner, and we were all jiving just fine.

But one microscopic virus changed everything all of a sudden.

But you know what else it changed in less than 24 hours… ME.

This morning I found myself on my husband’s side of the bed kneeling and having a conversation with God. Acknowledging God was in control. Acknowledging this is out of my control. Asking God to change my heart. Asking God to protect us. Asking God to give my son and I a wonderful day together. Asking God to heal our country. Asking God to show me how to use my time not working as a hygienist wisely and for His glory.

  • Philippians 4:6-8

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I walked away with peace. 

●     Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Does that mean I haven’t thought about this crazy unknown situation today? No.

But I have remembered that moment beside my bed this morning many, many times.

So, as I mentioned, it’s looking beautiful right now and feeling nice outside. But I know the chance of storms are there.  So, I also spent some time this morning cleaning up the porch and making sure things outside were hunkered down, etc.

I’M PREPARING.

●     Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, …

Storms are going to come. Sometimes they come with a warning and sometimes there is no warning at all. Regardless, they will come. God has commanded us to be good stewards. Last Sunday our church was unable to meet “like normal” in order to aid in limiting potential COVID-19 spread. I was unable to drop our tithe check as usual. Right after we were informed of our new work situation, I went to my wallet to get $5 I owed somebody at work and saw the check. My second patient didn’t show so I went to the church and dropped it off. KNOWING the storm was here, I also knew it did not change the fact I was to obey in the giving of my tithe. Normally, that is a routine thing that I never think twice about. That day, God increased my faith and said, “this doesn’t change.”

  • Malachi 3:10

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need…

●     Proverbs 3:9

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;

My husband and I have always strived to live within our means. People have made fun of us at times for the things we refuse to spend money on and our thoughts on saving. But I am so thankful for the sunny days where we had the opportunity to prepare. It may be different. It may be hard. It may do some damage to “our plans.” However, in the end, the sun will come back out.

●     Proverbs 21:20

Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.

●     Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.

God not only wants me to prepare for the storms financially, but also spiritually. My relationship with Him is what drove me to my knees this morning. I knew he would be there. I knew He already knew my heart. I knew I was safe there because He had been there before both on the sunny days and the stormy days.

I plan to spend the next few weeks looking for the ways God can use me in such a time as this.

While this storm may change our constant. Our God is constant in His love and promises toward His children. And because of that, TODAY AND EVERY DAY, I PRAISE HIM.

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Malachi 3:6

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.