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!!!

Bowed or Bowing??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #37

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Bowed or Bowing???  A Word from THE WORD!!!  #37

We can choose our way, by God’s gift of our own free will; yet this same God has shown us the way and given us the options!  We can choose to ‘bow’ (rhymes with tow) our necks and stand in stiff defiance to the God of all creation, or we can ‘bow’ (rhymes with cow) and bend our knee and heart before HIM in repentance and faith in HIS “only begotten Son”!  I hope that the scripture will pierce your heart and mine—that we who are already believers in Jesus, will seek to know God’s view of our lives and make whatever adjustments HE speaks to us, and that those who don’t know Jesus will be drawn to HIS indescribable love and be born again by JESUS’ precious blood!

As obedient children,

not fashioning yourselves

according to the former lusts

in your ignorance:

15 But as he which hath called you

is holy,

so be ye holy

in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written,

Be ye holy;

for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:15-16

Search me, O God,

and know my heart:

try me,

and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be

any wicked way in me,

and lead me

in the way everlasting.”  Psalm 139:23-24

 I pray that these scriptures will touch your heart and mine, and that we will hear The Holy Spirit’s whisper to our heart and kneel before our King for forgiveness, healing, and restoration of our souls.  May revival break out in God’s own—that we will know HIS presence and power in renewed love, humility and devotion to Jesus, our KING of KINGS!

Submit yourselves therefore

to God.

Resist the devil,

and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God,

and he will draw nigh to you.

Cleanse your hands,

ye sinners;

and purify your hearts,

ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted,

and mourn,

and weep:

let your laughter

be turned to mourning,

and your joy

to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves

in the sight of the Lord,

and he shall lift you up.”  James 4:7-10

There is an Old Testament example of God’s pure grace and mercy that I think will be beneficial for us to peruse this morning.  Josiah, a precious King of Israel who, when he heard the Word of God, saw truth, bowed before God in total humility and sent the leaders around him to seek the “words of God” from the prophetess Huldah.  I pray that this passage will move your heart and you will “hear the word of the Lord” and respond in faith, and obedience today.  Help me Jesus, to hear and obey, trusting to your work in me and these who are readying this post.  Be glorified in us!  Please bring a real Holy Ghost, Heaven sent revival to our hearts, our families, our churches, and our nation!  May we be willing to bow before you in earnest repentance and faith!

10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book.

And Shaphan read it before the king.

11 And it came to pass,

when the king had heard the words

of the book of the law,

that he rent his clothes.

12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest,

and Ahikam the son of Shaphan,

and Achbor the son of Michaiah,

and Shaphan the scribe,

and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying,

13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD

for me,

and for the people,

and for all Judah,

concerning the words of this book

that is found:

for great is the wrath of the LORD

that is kindled against us,

because our fathers have not hearkened

unto the words of this book,

to do according unto all

that which is written

concerning us.

14 So Hilkiah the priest,

and Ahikam,

and Achbor,

and Shaphan,

and Asahiah,

went unto Huldah the prophetess,

the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah,

the son of Harhas,

keeper of the wardrobe;

(now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;)

and they communed with her.

15 And she said unto them,

Thus saith the LORD God of Israel,

Tell the man that sent you to me,

16 Thus saith the LORD,

Behold, I will bring evil upon this place,

and upon the inhabitants thereof,

even all the words of the book

which the king of Judah hath read:

17 Because they have forsaken me,

and have burned incense unto other gods,

that they might provoke me to anger

with all the works of their hands;

therefore my wrath shall be kindled

against this place,

and shall not be quenched.

18 But to the king of Judah

which sent you to enquire of the LORD,

thus shall ye say to him,

Thus saith the LORD God of Israel,

As touching the words which thou hast heard;

19 Because thine heart was tender,

and thou hast humbled thyself

before the LORD,

when thou heardest what I spake

against this place,

and against the inhabitants

thereof,

that they should become

a desolation

and a curse,

and hast rent thy clothes,

and wept before me;

I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.

20 Behold therefore,

I will gather thee unto thy fathers,

and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave

in peace;

and thine eyes shall not see

all the evil which I will bring

upon this place.

And they brought the king word again.”   2 Kings 22:11-20

While this may not seem to be a message for us, I think we can find great insight in it.  Josiah was granted grace, in what some might call a ‘special dispensation’ from God, in that he would not see the judgment of God on Judah but would die in peace.  And as we go on to read (and I encourage you to read the rest of Josiah’s story), we see that Josiah, in his humility before God and his burden for The Word of The Lord, brought revival to Judah.

He restored the Temple to a place where the people could worship in obedience to God’s commands, he destroyed the idolatrous worship that was taking place at every turn.  He also called the people to celebrate a Passover that scripture refers to as “unparalleled”!  And on a side note, I find it interesting that if you follow the years, it could easily be that the families of some guys we know well—named Daniel, Hananiah, Mishaal and Azariah—were a part of this revival and these young men were brought up by parents who were a part of this amazing time of revival.  And while the judgement of God did come, and these young men found themselves in Babylon as a result of the sin of their nation –not their own personal sin—yet were used by God to make an amazing difference in an unlikely place.

Oh God, please send a life-changing revival among us; and even if we still must endure your judgment, may those be raised up who can make amazing impacts on our world.  Will you bow or be bowed up?  The choice is yours but remember there is a test!

May God have mercy upon us today???

Amen and Amen!!!

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

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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!!!

The Gospel In A Nutshell??? A Word from THE WORD!!! #36

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The Gospel In A Nutshell???  A Word from THE WORD!!!  #36

I just want to share The Gospel with you today.  Whether you need to know Jesus, or if you know Him, that you might have truth to share.  May God’s Spirit move through the HIS WORD!

Paul’s account:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel

which I preached unto you,

which also ye have received,

and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved,

if ye keep in memory what I preached

unto you,

unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all

that which I also received,

how that Christ died for our sins

according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried,

and that he rose again the third day

according to the scriptures:

5 And that he was seen of Cephas,

then of the twelve:” 1 Corinthians 15:1-5

And Jesus’ own words:

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.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds were evil.”  John 3:16-19

I tell you, Nay:

but, except ye repent,

ye shall all likewise perish

….5 I tell you, Nay:

but, except ye repent,

ye shall all likewise perish.”  Luke 13:3 & 5

Repentance of our own personal sin—my sin/your sin—and faith in the substitutionary (In my place), atoning (making payment for), sacrifice of Jesus (the only acceptable payment for sin).  You can pay for your own sin—or you can receive Jesus’ payment.  It’s your choice but choose wisely there is a test and payment will come due.

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

Remember the choice is yours—pay for your own sin or receive Jesus’ payment and eternal life with HIM!  There is a test!

Real Peace??? A Word from THE WORD!!!

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Real Peace???  A Word from THE WORD!!!  #35

‘Real Peace’, what is it?  That’s a good question, for many have fought battles trying to achieve peace.

Peace:  …. the normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world…. a state of harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations…. often considered simply the absence of strife!

I think there is a greater idea of peace that the world most often misses, and often times even Bible believing Christians miss the real idea and meaning of ‘peace’!  So, I’d like us to spend just a bit of time today pursuing the biblical definition of peace, and the first thing that comes to my mind is the ultimate idea of biblical peace.

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 4:6-7

Oh, the power of “the peace of God”; it is the supply, the sustenance, the surety of every believer who will rely upon it instead of the ‘peace of the world’—a flimsy, ever-changing pursuit that at best, is short-lived and unreliable, for it’s based on the ideas, pursuits, and efforts of mankind!  Whereas “the peace of God” is a rock-solid assurance that we can stand fast in God’s promises!

Let your conversation

be without covetousness;

and be content

with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee,

nor forsake thee.

6 So that we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not fear

what man shall do unto me.”   Hebrews 13:5-6

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,

whose mind is stayed on thee:

because he trusteth

in thee.”  Isaiah 26:3

The main question though, is, where/how do we get this great peace?  Well, there is only one place where we can find this amazing peace (and grace—by grace), and that is IN JESUS.  Paul gives us the most amazing discourse on this, and while it is a lengthy passage, I think it well worth our time to consider it, for it is the premise upon which all we’ve said so far rests.

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access

by faith

into this grace wherein we stand,

and rejoice in hope

of the glory of God.

3 And not only so,

but we glory in tribulations also:

knowing that tribulation

worketh patience;

4 And patience,

experience;

and experience,

hope:

5 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.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God

commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

9 Much more then,

being now justified

by his blood,

we shall be saved

from wrath through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies,

we were reconciled to God

by the death of his Son,

much more, being reconciled,

we shall be saved by his life.

11 And not only so,

but we also joy in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom we have now received

the atonement.”  Romans 5:1-11

All this, because God loves us—did before HE created us, did after HE created us—did when we sinned—did when HE sent Jesus, The Son to be our redemption, which bought our “peace with God” for all who will believe and receive the forgiveness of sin that Jesus purchased at Calvary, so that “whosoever believeth in HIM” can have life, hope, and this very peace that Paul describes—no longer enemies of God—but HIS blessed children!!!  Hallelujah!!!  Amen!!!

Because of what HE did for us, we can have this peace that “passeth all understanding”!  The peace that overrules fear and suffering because we know that our God reigns, and is bringing us to glory with HIM!  It is what our faith camps on, Jesus’ own promise that Paul described above, in HIS own words!

These things have I spoken unto you,

being yet present with you.

26 But the Comforter,

which is the Holy Ghost,

whom the Father will send in my name,

he shall teach you all things,

and bring all things to your remembrance,

whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you,

my peace I give unto you:

not as the world giveth,

give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled,

neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:25-27

Oh, how amazingly grateful I am that with HIS peace, comes “the love of God”, and for Paul ‘s reminder that The Holy Spirit plants it within us, a love that is ever at work accomplishing God’s purpose and glory in us, so that we have peace not fear (and living in such fear-evoking days we need reminding!), and the world sees a love they don’t understand—a testimony of Jesus’ amazing, saving grace!!

There is no fear

in love;

but perfect love

casteth out fear:

because fear hath torment.

He that feareth

is not made perfect in love.”  1 John 4:18

Even in some of Jesus’ last words to His disciple (and to us) He reminded us that we have peace, HIS peace, in the midst of trials, troubles and tribulations—all because HE has “overcome the world”!

These things I have spoken unto you,

that in me ye might have peace.

In the world ye shall have tribulation:

but be of good cheer;

I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

Hold on to The One who IS our peace!  In HIM we win!

And a voice came out of the throne, saying,

Praise our God,

all ye his servants,

and ye that fear him,

both small and great.

6 And I heard

as it were the voice of a great multitude,

and as the voice of many waters,

and as the voice of mighty thunderings,

saying,

Alleluia:

for the Lord God omnipotent

reigneth.”  Revelation 19:5-6

And on that all I can say is, even so Lord Jesus come quickly!!!

Yet if you don’t have this peace of God, you can have it by the repentance of your sin—your personal sin—and believing in the sacrifice that Jesus made for it (the substitutionary, atoning, sacrifice)—that He was crucified for your sin and mine, that He was buried, and that HE arose from the dead for you and me, victorious over sin, death, and hell!  He is inviting you today!

Behold,

I stand at the door,

and knock:

if any man hear my voice,

and open the door,

I will come in to him,

and will sup with him,

and he with me.”  Revelation 3:20

Amen and Amen!!!