A Month Of Gratitude??? Bible Ballistics: BBs # 600

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #600     A Month Of Gratitude???

 

While I probably won’t post every day this month, I would like to spend this month directing our hearts to consider gratitude; for after all, “Thanksgiving” isn’t just a day—it’s an attitude of the heart.  I believe we can all benefit from frequent reminders to have grateful hearts, and with God’s help (always!!!) we’ll pursue a true “attitude of gratitude”!  You are welcome (as you always are) to respond to the emails, Facebook posts, or to comment on the website—I am blessed by your interactions.

Let’s begin November with a few scriptures to rehearse the import of gratitude/thankfulness!  As I’ve mentioned before, while we can’t always control our circumstances, we CAN control our responses and our attitude (not easy but it IS doable by the grace and strength of our precious Lord and His Holy Spirit dwelling within born-again believers!)!  I’d like to begin our journey this month with a passage from Paul’s letter to the Colossians, as it so clearly paints a picture of the who-what-when-where-why-and how, of a true ‘attitude of gratitude’!  We each decide whether we want to be “Humbly grateful—or—Grumbly Hateful”!  And as I’ve often heard it said, “It’s your choice.  But choose wisely, there is a test!”

Put on therefore,

as the elect of God,

holy and beloved,

bowels of mercies,

kindness,

humbleness of mind,

meekness,

longsuffering;

13 Forbearing one another,

and forgiving one another,

if any man have a quarrel against any:

even as Christ forgave you,

so also do ye.

14 And above all these things

put on charity,

which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God

rule in your hearts,

to the which also ye are called

in one body;

and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ

dwell in you richly

in all wisdom;

teaching

and admonishing

one another

in psalms

and hymns

and spiritual songs,

singing

with grace in your hearts

to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do

in word

or deed,

do all

in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks

to God and the Father

by him.”  Colossians 3:12-17

Whoa!  What a picture:

We are the—elect of God—

–holy and beloved–

So, we ought to be—merciful, kind, humble, meek,

patient (with people and circumstances)

 forgiving, exhibiting perfect love

 and the peace of God!

Enabled by—pursuing and yielding to the Word of Christ—

Only and Always—doing “all” in, for, and through Jesus—

Ever Giving Thanks to The Father “by Him”!

Always remembering to look ‘UP’, so as to not be distracted by looking ‘around’!

Giving thanks

always

for all things

unto God and the Father

in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” Ephesians 5:20

When we belong to Jesus, we can truly be thankful in, for and through all things; if for no other reason than that we know our God Reigns in all!

Every good gift

and every perfect gift

is from above,

and cometh down

from the Father of lights,

with whom is no variableness,

neither shadow of turning.”   James 1:17

And while we may not always understand our circumstances, or our trials and troubles, we can trust our God with all things, for HE does know what He is doing in our lives.  I’d simply like to end this post with one of my favorite passages, I pray it will encourage your heart and boost your “thankfulness” quotient!

Trust in the LORD

with all thine heart;

and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways

acknowledge him,

and he shall direct thy paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Thank YOU, Lord!   Amen and Amen!!!

They’re There, But Where Am I??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #599

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #599.     They’re There, But Where Am I???

 

I’d like to share a passage with you this morning that is an account that speaks for itself.  It is one of my favorite testimonies in all of scripture, for like Isaiah, I too once met God with the realization that “Woe is me! for I am undone”!  For without the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to bring us to the realization that we are sinners, we will never recognize our need for a Savior!  And while we often point our finger at the “they” over there, we seldom recognize our own short-comings or “sin”!  And sin IS the issue—you/I have it, we can’t fix it, but Jesus can and will; if we’ll but call on HIS name in repentance and faith!

I pray that this passage will touch your heart as it does mine every time I read it.  Blessings on your day!

In the year that king Uzziah died

I saw also the Lord

sitting upon a throne,

high and lifted up,

and his train filled the temple.

2 Above it stood the seraphims:

each one had six wings;

with twain he covered his face,

and with twain he covered his feet,

and with twain he did fly.

3 And one cried unto another, and said,

Holy, holy, holy,

is the LORD of hosts:

the whole earth is full

of his glory.

4 And the posts of the door moved

at the voice of him that cried,

and the house was filled

with smoke.

5 Then said I,

Woe is me!

for I am undone;

because I am a man

of unclean lips,

and I dwell in the midst of a people

of unclean lips:

for mine eyes have seen the King,

the LORD of hosts.

6 Then flew one of the seraphims

unto me,

having a live coal in his hand,

which he had taken

with the tongs from off

the altar:

7 And he laid it upon my mouth,

and said,

Lo, this hath touched thy lips;

and thine iniquity

is taken away,

and thy sin

purged.

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,

Whom shall I send,

and who will go

for us?

Then said I,

Here am I; send me.”  Isaiah 6:1-8

When we hear God’s call upon our heart, we have the option to ‘hear’ and ‘obey’, or we can ignore it, deny it, refuse it, or run from it; but the arms of God are the only safe place to run “to” not “from”!  May you find the joy of running to His “high tower” and know the “joy” of The Lord!  Don’t worry about what “they’re” doing ‘over there’—just run to the lover of your soul!

The name of the LORD

is a strong tower:

the righteous runneth

into it,and is safe.”  Proverbs 18:10.  Amen!!!

His Grace Reaches Me??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 11

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 11        His Grace Reaches Me???

 

I love the old songs, and there is one that is a special message to my heart, and it resounds with truth—deep truth—written by Augustus Toplady in 1763.  How could such an old song still be pertinent?  Because the good news of the Gospel hasn’t changed!  Never has, never will!

Rock Of Ages  (Augustus Toplady 1763)

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

Not the labour of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die!

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgement throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

I love the third verse and the simplicity of its message:

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to Thy cross I cling…

Our hope is in the sufficiency of God’s grace that is full and powerful enough to save us from sin.

Be it known unto you all,

and to all the people of Israel,

that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

whom ye crucified,

whom God raised from the dead,

even by him doth this man stand here

before you whole.

11 This is the stone

which was set at nought of you builders,

which is become

the head of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other:

for there is none other name under heaven

given among men,

whereby we must be saved.”  Acts 4:10-12

This precious ‘corner stone’ is Jesus and He came that we might have life—real life in and through HIM!  Peter who was speaking in the account above, to answer the opposition there, also mentioned this ‘corner stone’ in his first Epistle to the scattered believers.

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture,

Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone,

elect,

precious:

and he that believeth on him

shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe

he is precious:

 but unto them which be disobedient,

the stone which the builders disallowed,

the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling,

and a rock of offence,

even to them which stumble

at the word,

being disobedient:

whereunto also they were appointed.”  1 Peter 2:6-8

I am so grateful that no matter where I am, or what is going on around me (or around those that I love), I have confidence in the truth that I can always “simply to Thy cross I cling”!  Jesus IS my all-in-all!

For in him dwelleth all the fulness

of the Godhead bodily.

10 And ye are complete

in him,

which is the head of all principality

and power:”   Colossians 2:9-10

And another part of the letter that Paul wrote to the Colossians, reminds us how to look to HIM in all things, because HE is the One who sustains all things.  But before we look at the Colossians passage, we can see HIS power, grace and provision in Hebrews.

God,

who at sundry times

and in divers manners

spake in time past

unto the fathers

by the prophets,

2 Hath in these last days spoken

unto us

by his Son,

whom he hath appointed heir

of all things,

by whom also he made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness

of his glory,

and the express image

of his person,

and upholding all things

by the word of his power,

when he had by himself

purged our sins,

sat down

on the right hand

of the Majesty on high;”   Hebrews 1:1-3

Jesus is God’s final Word; and the book of the Revelation is the “unveiling” of all that God will accomplish through “His only begotten Son”!  Jesus is the creator, the sustainer, the redeemer, the very One who IS/WAS the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for our sin—yours and mine!  Oh, how grateful I am for His unfailing graceHis all-sufficient grace—His supreme sovereign control—through which we can have victory in our daily lives.  Oh, how grateful I am that HIS grace reached down for me, saving and delivering me from my own sin, doing HIS continual work of that grace in me—conforming you and me  into the “image of His son” (Romans 8:28-29, in fact the whole chapter is an amazing word picture of all that we have in HIS amazing grace!). Now let’s take a look at Colossians 3 and see what this amazing grace looks like working through our hands, our feet, and our mouth—yes, you and I who have His Spirit within!

Lie not one to another,

seeing that ye have put off the old man

with his deeds;

10 And have put on the new man,

which is renewed in knowledge

after the image of him

that created him:

11 Where there is neither Greek

nor Jew,

circumcision

nor uncircumcision,

Barbarian,

Scythian,

bond

nor free:

but Christ is all,

and in all.

12 Put on therefore,

as the elect of God,

holy and beloved,

bowels of mercies,

kindness,

humbleness of mind,

meekness,

longsuffering;

13 Forbearing one another,

and forgiving one another,

if any man have a quarrel

against any:

even as Christ forgave you,

so also do ye.

14 And above all these things

put on charity,

which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God

rule in your hearts,

to the which also ye are called

in one body;

and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ

dwell in you richly

in all wisdom;

teaching

and admonishing

one another

in psalms

and hymns

and spiritual songs,

singing with grace

in your hearts

to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do

in word

or deed,

do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God

and the Father by him.”   Colossians 3:9-17

And all this by our Lord’s grace and power which we received.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord,

so walk ye in him:

7 Rooted and built up in him,

and stablished in the faith,

as ye have been taught,

abounding therein

with thanksgiving.”   Colossians 2:6-7

May we ever walkin him”, remembering who we are, all because of whose we are; all because of His far-reaching, out-reaching grace that brings abundant life!  Amen and Amen!

The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it

more abundantly.”  John 10:10. Amen!

Where Is Your Sin??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #598

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #598       Where Is Your Sin???

 

The issue today doesn’t seem to be “sin”, for according to the world’s standard there isn’t any!  Much like God’s people in the book of Judges, we are totally living in a “selfie” culture in more ways than one.  God warned of the danger of this kind of living, and just as few listened in the past, few are hearing truth today.  Let’s take a walk-through God’s Word this morning to see what God has to say!

Ye shall not do after

all the things that we do here this day,

every man whatsoever is right

in his own eyes.”  Deuteronomy 12:8

As I’ve heard the old saying, “I’m ok; you’re ok; we’re all ok!”; I don’t think so?  It’s not a new idea, even as Solomon said:

The thing that hath been,

it is that which shall be;

and that which is done

is that which shall be done:

and there is no new thing under the sun.

10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said,

See, this is new?

it hath been already of old time,

which was before us.”  Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

Even as Israel wrestled with the truths of God after the death of Joshua, our culture—our world—is set on self, no matter the consequences.

In those days there was no king in Israel,

but every man did that

which was right

in his own eyes.”   Judges 17:6

In those days there was no king in Israel:

every man did that

which was right

in his own eyes.”  Judges 21:25

My question for today is the same as our title today: “Where is your sin?”  Is it covered by your own arguments, justification, and excuses or is it under the blood—the blood of Jesus?

If we say that we have not sinned,

we make him a liar,

and his word is not in us.”   1 John 1:10

God makes it clear that sin is the problem, we have it—we can’t fix it—but Jesus has!  He can and will forgive sin for those who will come to HIM in repentance and faith!

Giving thanks unto the Father,

which hath made us meet

to be partakers of the inheritance

of the saints

in light:

13 Who hath delivered us

from the power of darkness,

and hath translated us

into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

even the forgiveness of sins:”  Colossians 1:12-14

Just as Jesus said, we “must be born again”—by God’s grace, mercy and power, expressed in His “only begotten son”!

He was in the world,

and the world was made by him,

and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own,

and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them

that believe on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.”   John 1:10-13

And praise God Jesus takes care of our SIN when we are “born….of God”! Jesus cleanses us “from all sin”!  Oh, praise God for HIS amazing grace toward we sinners; for HE washes away our sin through the blood of Jesus!  As the old hymn says, “Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus”!  (Written by Robert Lowry in 1876)

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.

8 If we say that we have no sin,

we deceive ourselves,

and the truth

is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins,

he is faithful and just

to forgive us our sins,

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.”   1 John 1:7-9

Oh, praise His name–His blood will cover our sins; or it will hold you accountable for rejecting HIM—and God’s Word is the standard, not our ‘selfies’!

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

So, my friend, where’s your sin?  Mine is under the blood of Jesus, my Lord and Savior!  If you don’t know Him, He is waiting for YOU to come to HIM, that you may know His “abundant life” today!

And from Jesus Christ,

 who is the faithful witness,

and the first begotten of the dead,

and the prince of the kings of the earth.

Unto him that loved us,

and washed us from our sins

in his own blood,

6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God …to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”   Revelation 1:5-6

Amen and Amen!!!

Pray On To Press On??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #597

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #597       Pray On To Press On???

 

I want to share a simple and brief call to each of us who belong to Jesus!  Our lives, our families, our schools, our cities, and states, as well as our nation need a touch—a touch that only God can extend.  May we intercede while there is still time!  Our only hope, as I see it, is personal repentance and revival, which can lead to revived churches, which can lead to communities transformed, which can lead to a true and powerful heart of righteousness all around us.  God Himself gave Solomon the key!

If my people,

which are called by my name,

shall humble themselves,

and pray,

and seek my face,

and turn from their wicked ways;

then will I hear from heaven,

and will forgive their sin,

and will heal their land.”   2 Chronicles 7:14

The principle, If:

We are called HIS—

We humble ourselves (the one I can humble)-

We PRAY—

We seek GOD’s face—

We REPENT of OUR sin—

GOD will:

Hear from heaven—

Forgive OUR sin—

Heal OUR land!

It all begins with MY willingness to seek God’s face, asking Him to reveal my own failures, short-comings and sins, that I may know the conviction of The Holy Spirit, mourn and repent before MY God, ask HIS forgiveness for MY sin, and receive His “Balm of Gilead”—the grace to heal and restore “my soul”, that I can be a catalyst of revival in my realm of influence!  Will you join me in seeking HIM?

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

Accept whatever HE reveals—and deal with it!  Agree with God!

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

Then we can join Paul in pressing on to victory.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:

but this one thing I do,

forgetting those things

which are behind,

and reaching forth unto those things

which are before,

14 I press toward the mark

for the prize of the high calling of God

in Christ Jesus.”    Philippians 3:13-14

Amen and Amen!