Hidden Treasure??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #662

Tags

, , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #662       Hidden Treasure???

 

What are you doing with the treasure that God has blessed you with?  Are you shining your light on the darkness or are you “hiding it” under a bucket, or a life of compromise?  I’d like to share a passage from Paul, a bit longer than usual for a Friday, but one I feel we need to consider.  Are we helping to spread the good news of the gospel, or are we adding to the darkness and supporting the lies of the enemy?

Therefore seeing we have this ministry,

as we have received mercy,

we faint not;

2 But have renounced

the hidden things of dishonesty,

not walking in craftiness,

nor handling the word of God deceitfully;

but by manifestation of the truth

commending ourselves

to every man’s conscience

in the sight of God.

3 But if our gospel be hid,

it is hid to them

that are lost:

4 In whom the god of this world

hath blinded the minds

of them which believe not,

lest the light of the glorious gospel

of Christ,

who is the image of God,

should shine unto them.

5 For we preach not ourselves,

but Christ Jesus the Lord;

and ourselves your servants

for Jesus’ sake.

6 For God,

who commanded the light

to shine out of darkness,

hath shined in our hearts,

to give the light

of the knowledge of the glory of God

in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 But we have this treasure

in earthen vessels,

that the excellency

of the power

may be of God,

and not of us.”   2 Corinthians 4:1-7

May we ever be mindful that “that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”?  It is so easy to be distracted, caught up, and led away from our Lord by the “bling” and “glitz” of the world.  But the urgency of the hour calls for our total devotion to our Lord; even in the midst of trials, suffering, and ridicule.  We must choose the things of God and the dependence upon HIS Spirit rather than the world’s false answers!

See then that ye walk circumspectly,

not as fools,

but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time,

because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise,

but understanding

what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine,

wherein is excess;

but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves

 in psalms

and hymns

and spiritual songs,

singing and making melody

in your heart

to the Lord;”  Ephesians 5:15-19

We live in a culture that stampedes to the short-term solutions of any popular substance of the moment; whether it’s alcohol, drugs, tobacco, food, or anything that we use to control our fears or anxieties.  And while we can “enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season”, that season will not last (see Hebrews 11:25) and its price tag is almost always more than we expect it to be!  When we choose to follow Jesus, we can expect opposition and difficulty, but we can rest assured that “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world”!  Paul assures us that no matter the cost of following Jesus faithfully, it will be rewarding beyond worldly measure.  For while we may be troubled “on every side”, we know that Paul is right in what he told the Roman believers!

For I reckon that the sufferings

of this present time

are not worthy to be compared

with the glory

which shall be revealed in us.”  Romans 8:18

Paul also reminds us, as he did the believers at Corinth and Galatia, that regardless of our circumstances our Lord is always faithful in every situation (adequate to every trial!):

We are troubled on every side,

yet not distressed;

we are perplexed,

but not in despair;

9 Persecuted,

but not forsaken;

cast down,

but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body

the dying of the Lord Jesus,

that the life also of Jesus

might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live

are alway delivered unto death

for Jesus’ sake,

that the life also of Jesus

might be made manifest

in our mortal flesh.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-11

I am “bought with a price”; and that price is the blood of Jesus which “cleanseth us from all sin”!  May we ever strive to be a mirror of Jesus’ power and grace rather than the substitute gratifications of the world’s lies!  Remember, ‘sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay’!  But Jesus has already given HIS life that we might have “abundant life”!  Choose wisely!  There is a test!

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

Amen and Amen!!!

 

 

 

Are You Being Fooled??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #661

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #661  Are You Being Fooled???

 

I would like to share a word today about our associations, and the need for caution and wisdom in choosing whom or what ideologies and movements we align ourselves with.  For today many are hopping on board with people whose goals and ideologies are foreign, and often opposed, to the call and biblical principles of Jesus and HIS Word.

I truly believe that my call is to adhere to, love and obey God’s Word rather than the latest movement of the day—be it political, religious, or social.  The Word of God is to be our compass, our guide and the solid rock upon which we can stand without fear of collapse.  Jesus gives us a sure warning!

Therefore whosoever heareth

these sayings of mine,

and doeth them,

I will liken him unto a wise man,

which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell not:

for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth

these sayings of mine,

and doeth them not,

shall be likened unto a foolish man,

which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell:

and great was the fall of it.”                   Matthew 7:24-26

Where is your house built?  Jesus also warned us that, in my words, “saying so doesn’t make it so”; just because someone claims to be leading in the right direction, you need to check out who you are following, and believing!

Beware of false prophets, which come to you

in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly

they are ravening wolves.”   Matthew 7:15

Paul gives us some good advice for responding to cultural issues; and he reminds us (it is dear to my heart) that we have One call—and that is to preach Christ Jesus—Lord of all, crucified, risen and coming again!  It is so easy to have our focus distracted and find ourselves of little use to God after we have ruined our testimony by being distracted by the call of the world’s “causes”!

I exhort therefore, that, first of all,

supplications,

prayers,

intercessions,

and giving of thanks,

be made for all men;

2 For kings,

and for all that are in authority;

that we may lead a quiet

and peaceable life

in all godliness

and honesty.

3 For this is good and acceptable

in the sight of God our Saviour;

4 Who will have all men to be saved,

and to come unto the knowledge

of the truth.

5 For there is one God,

and one mediator

between God and men,

the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom

for all,

to be testified in due time.”  I Timothy 2:1-6

And if I may take the liberty—it’s past time to return to our calling as children of God; and that my friends is the desire of my heart—to be found faithful to to my Lord Jesus Christ when He comes, or when He calls me unto Himself!

And I, brethren,

when I came to you,

came not with excellency of speech

or of wisdom,

declaring unto you the testimony

of God.

2 For I determined

not to know any thing among you,

save Jesus Christ,

and him crucified.”   1 Corinthians 2:1-2

It’s all about Jesus—He died for ME and YOU!  Who are you abandoning Jesus for?  We are called to live for Jesus, not our own fickle fancies of the day.  May God open our eyes!

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

Amen and Amen!!!

A Father’s Way!!! Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 16

Tags

, , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 16    A Father’s Way!!!

 

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, and I want to share some thoughts on the import of fatherhood.  One of the major issues in our culture today is the lack of father’s involvement in the home and in the lives of their children.  I just want to share what I believe to be one of the most important passages on the family for your consideration today.  I pray that we will consider God’s truth, and as Paul said, “stand fast in the evil day”!

Now these are the commandments,

the statutes,

and the judgments,

which the LORD your God commanded

to teach you,

that ye might do them

in the land whither ye go to possess it:

2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God,

to keep all his statutes

and his commandments,

which I command thee,

thou,

and thy son,

and thy son’s son,

all the days of thy life;

and that thy days may be prolonged.

3 Hear therefore, O Israel,

and observe to do it;

that it may be well with thee,

and that ye may increase mightily,

as the LORD God of thy fathers

hath promised thee,

in the land that floweth

with milk and honey.

4 Hear, O Israel:

The LORD our God

is one LORD:

5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God

with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy might.

6 And these words,

which I command thee this day,

shall be in thine heart:”  Deuteronomy 6:1-6

God’s call to His own was that they would heed His Word, and depend upon HIS provision and care, and know Him personally.  It is the basis of everything that makes a true godly home!  We must choose to love and follow God for our own selves first, before we can affect anyone around us—especially our children; and without the example as well as the talk we can’t truly lead anyone else to The Lord Jesus!  We can only share what we possess!

What?

know ye not that your body

is the temple

of the Holy Ghost

which is in you,

which ye have of God,

and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God

in your body,

and in your spirit,

which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Now, let’s look at what Deuteronomy lays out for us as parents—especially fathers—and ponder God’s design, and pursue HIS principles!  May God work a work that only HE can do in our hearts, our lives, our families, and our nation!  Speaking of the statutes of the Lord, Moses told us how to pass the torch of faith and truth to our children and those over whom God gives us influence (whether they are our own offspring or not!)!

And thou shalt teach them diligently

unto thy children,

and shalt talk of them

when thou sittest in thine house,

and when thou walkest by the way,

and when thou liest down,

and when thou risest up.

8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign

upon thine hand,

and they shall be as frontlets

between thine eyes.

9 And thou shalt write them

upon the posts of thy house,

and on thy gates.

10 And it shall be,

when the LORD thy God

shall have brought thee into the land

which he sware unto thy fathers,

to Abraham,

to Isaac,

and to Jacob,

to give thee great and goodly cities,

which thou buildedst not,

11 And houses full of all good things,

which thou filledst not,

and wells digged,

which thou diggedst not,

vineyards and olive trees,

which thou plantedst not;

when thou shalt have eaten and be full;

12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD,

which brought thee forth

out of the land of Egypt,

from the house of bondage.

13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God,

and serve him,

and shalt swear by his name……

…17 Ye shall diligently keep

the commandments of the LORD your God,

and his testimonies,

and his statutes,

which he hath commanded thee.

18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good

in the sight of the LORD:

that it may be well with thee,

and that thou mayest go in

and possess the good land

which the LORD sware

unto thy fathers,

19 To cast out all thine enemies

from before thee,

as the LORD hath spoken.

(***)20 And when thy son asketh thee

in time to come, saying,

What mean the testimonies,

and the statutes,

and the judgments,

which the LORD our God

hath commanded you?

(***)21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son,

We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt;

and the LORD brought us out of Egypt

with a mighty hand:

22 And the LORD shewed signs and wonders,

great and sore,

upon Egypt,

upon Pharaoh,

and upon all his household,

before our eyes:

23 And he brought us out from thence,

that he might bring us in,

to give us the land

which he sware unto our fathers.

24 And the LORD commanded us

to do all these statutes,

to fear the LORD our God,

for our good always,

that he might preserve us alive,

as it is at this day.

25 And it shall be our righteousness,

 if we observe to do all

these commandments

before the LORD our God,

as he hath commanded us.”  Deuteronomy 6:7-25

If I might put it in a nutshell:  if we will follow Jesus with our whole heart, and do that which pleases Him in all our ways, before our family and the world, the time will come in the lives of our children (and those He places in our circle of influence!), that they will ask “why” we do what we do.  Note, God didn’t say that they would ask “why” we “say” what we say, but that they would ask “why” we “do” what we “do” in following Jesus!  Do your children have anything to ask about?  Or is there so little difference between us and the world, that they have nothing to ask about.

May God bless you to see what HE is showing you/me today.  Blessings on you and yours.

Amen and Amen!!!

 

 

 

Our Sovereign God Still Reigns!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #660

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #660  Our Sovereign God Still Reigns!!!

 

Thou art worthy,

O Lord,

to receive glory

and honour

and power:

for thou hast created all things,

and for thy pleasure

they are

and were created.”   Revelation 4:11

Our God, the creator and ruler of all is still in charge regardless of what is going on around us.  God calls us to not only keep our eyes on Jesus, but to look up knowing that our redeemer LIVES!  And HE is coming again!

And then shall they see the Son of man coming

in a cloud

with power

and great glory.

28 And when these things begin to come to pass,

then look up,

and lift up your heads;

for your redemption

draweth nigh.”   Luke 21:27-28

Amen and Amen!  And we could just stop there but I would like to share a bit of hope and encouragement with you in this disconcerting time.  We can be confident and secure in our Lord Jesus Christ!

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

That “sound mind” means ‘right thinking’—and since Jesus is ‘truth’ we can think on the things of God and walk in victory—not ease—but victory!

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.” Philippians 4:8

Guard your heart and mind with The Word of God—it will prepare us for the battle that we are in.  And we can stand fast in the certainty of our God’s sovereign rule in truth and right!  His goodness is sure, and HE is worthy of our praise, for God sent His Son to give us life—and it cost HIM HIS!  HE IS WORTHY (as well as trust-worthy!)!!!

And they sung a new song, saying,

Thou art worthy to take the book,

and to open the seals thereof:

for thou wast slain,

and hast redeemed us

to God

by thy blood

out of every kindred,

and tongue,

and people,

and nation;

10 And hast made us unto our God

kings

and priests:

and we shall reign on the earth.

11 And I beheld,

and I heard the voice of many angels

round about the throne

and the beasts

and the elders:

and the number of them was ten thousand

times ten thousand,

and thousands of thousands;

12 Saying with a loud voice,

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

to receive power,

and riches,

and wisdom,

and strength,

and honour,

and glory,

and blessing.”   Revelation 5:9-12. Amen!

You can rest in His care, for HE is ever the same, and HE cares for YOU!

My help cometh from the LORD,

which made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:

he that keepeth thee

will not slumber.”   Psalm 121:2-3

I hope you find this post helpful and encouraging as you face uncertain days; but remember our God is NEVER unsure or uncertain—HE REIGNS!

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 19:6.   Amen!!!

Blinded To God’s Way??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 15

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 15  Blinded To God’s Way???

 

There’s a lot of talk today about being “color-blind” but I think we need to have a different conversation; we need to examine our own hearts, which will reveal our own needs; which will reveal our personal response to God and His Word!  And that my friends is the only thing that will make any significant change in lives, homes, neighborhoods, communities, towns, counties, states and a nation—much less a world!  We can riot, protest, and wreak havoc if we choose, but only Jesus can change a sinner into a saint.  And until we begin to preach the gospel to our world gone amuck, we will not see lasting change!  Jesus said it all!

Do not ye yet understand,

that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth

goeth into the belly,

and is cast out into the draught?

18 But those things

which proceed out of the mouth

come forth from the heart;

and they defile the man.

19 For out of the heart

proceed evil thoughts,

murders,

adulteries,

fornications,

thefts,

false witness,

blasphemies:

20 These are the things

which defile a man:

but to eat with unwashen hands

defileth not a man.”   Matthew 15:17-20

What we see going on around us is the outflowing of evil hearts; hearts set on satisfying themselves and trying to fill the desires of the heart with things that will never satisfy.  Only Jesus will ever satisfy the heart and give abundant life.  It’s what HE came to be and do—the redeemer of sinners.

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

God’s people must learn to heed God’s Word and yield our hearts and lives to the obedience of The Word, and the leadership of The Holy Spirit of Jesus/God! Jesus is the only way to know God or His Word; and when we know we are obligated by love to reflect HIS glory to a lost and dying world.  A world set on going “to hell in a hand-basket”, and in a hurry to get there, it seems.

There is a way

that seemeth right

unto a man,

but the end thereof

are the ways of death.”  Proverbs 16:25

And while I’ve used this passage a lot in recent weeks, I just feel the need to rehearse it again, for the truth of what our Lord Jesus said is so needed today. The truth is the truth, and regardless of what the world says, only Jesus can change hearts and lives—and only changed hearts and lives can make significant change to social upheaval.

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would

that men should do

to you,

do ye even so to them:

for this is the law

and the prophets.”  Matthew 7:12

Oh, that we could all practice this ‘golden rule’!  Yet Jesus made it clear that not everyone is on the same page; not all people are pursuing the good of others, especially in this day of the “me” culture that we have produced by our selfish ways and the abandonment of God and His Word!  Let’s spend some time perusing what Jesus told us about the choices that we are all free to make—but remember while we are free moral agents and God has given us the right to choose, He has not freed us from the consequences of our choices, and we don’t get to choose those consequences.  As Paul reminds us, be careful what you choose—you/I will give an account!

Be not deceived;

God is not mocked:

for whatsoever a man soweth,

that shall he also reap.

8 For he that soweth

to his flesh

shall of the flesh

reap corruption;

but he that soweth

to the Spirit

shall of the Spirit

reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7-8

And as Jesus makes perfectly clear, there are two choices—the narrow way or the broad road!  Which have you chosen to follow?  It makes a difference, and we are seeing the result of multitudinous wrong choices!

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.”  Matthew 7:13-19

And Jesus goes on to declare to all that there is a day of reckoning coming.  (And to see what false teachers and prophets look like, read 2 Peter chapter 2!). Are you ready to face that reckoning?  If Jesus came today (and He could appear any day) where would you stand?  Will you be a wise builder or a foolish one—this is truth, not just a simple children’s Sunday School song!

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.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth

these sayings of mine,

and doeth them,

I will liken him unto a wise man,

which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell not:

for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth

these sayings of mine,

and doeth them not,

shall be likened unto a foolish man,

which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell:

and great was the fall of it.”  Matthew 7:21-27

I find it interesting, that just at it is today, the people of Jesus’ day were astounded at His teaching!  How about you?  Will you be astounded and follow Him, or stay astonished and reject Him today?  He has the authority for HE IS GOD; what will you do with HIM today.   And remember just “saying so” doesn’t “make it so”!

And it came to pass,

when Jesus had ended these sayings,

the people were astonished

at his doctrine:

29 For he taught them

as one having authority,

and not as the scribes.”   Matthew 7:28-29

And one final word about the reckoning; it is coming, and there will be no appeal.

And I saw a great white throne,

and him that sat on it,

from whose face

the earth and the heaven

fled away;

and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead,

small and great,

stand before God;

and the books were opened:

and another book was opened,

which is the book of life:

and the dead were judged

out of those things which were written

in the books,

according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead

which were in it;

and death and hell

delivered up the dead

which were in them:

and they were judged

every man

according to their works.

14 And death and hell

were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written

in the book of life

was cast into the lake of fire.”  Revelation 20:11-15

May God open your heart and eyes to see Jesus.  He’s still calling today.  Burn with Satan or reign with Jesus!  It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test!

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.

21 To him that overcometh

will I grant to sit with me

in my throne,

even as I also overcame,

and am set down

with my Father

 in his throne.

22 He that hath an ear,

let him hear

what the Spirit saith

unto the churches.”   Revelation 3:20-22

 (And just FYI, being in a church isn’t enough!)

Amen and Amen!!!