Learning To Wait And Listen??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #742

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #742  Learning To Wait And Listen???

 

My brethren,

count it all joy

when ye fall into divers temptations;

3 Knowing this,

that the trying of your faith

worketh patience.

4 But let patience

have her perfect work,

that ye may be perfect

and entire,

wanting nothing.

5 If any of you lack wisdom,

let him ask of God,

that giveth to all men liberally,

and upbraideth not;

and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith,

nothing wavering.

For he that wavereth

 is like a wave of the sea

driven with the wind

and tossed.

7 For let not that man think

that he shall receive any thing

of the Lord.

8 A double minded man

is unstable

in all his ways.”  James 1:2-8

James gives us some amazing advice, yet we so often find ourselves being “double minded”!  What does that mean?  Well, I’ll give you my grasp on that picture, and I think it’s simple; it’s when we try to serve “God and self”.  Jesus calls it trying to serve “God…and mammon”, if you would, the things of this world—money, luxury, ease, power, popularity, promotion, worldly success, and the list could go on to include any idol that we build or allow to consume our thoughts, our time, our energies, our money, and desires.  As I’ve often heard, and said myself, “Let me look at your checkbook and I’ll show you what you love.”  Try it yourself!  So, what is our desire to be set on?  We choose what we love and then that love will conform us to one thing or another, usually the divide between God and the world.

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

Jesus goes on to call us to realize that when we know HIM and Father God, we can depend on HIM to supply our every need; even when we’re not sure what that looks like.  Just as James talks about, there are times when we just don’t know which choice to make, yet our GOD WILL grant us direction when we choose to seek HIS face and wait upon HIS answers.  Even when they seem difficult, we can trust our God completely for “HE careth for you”! (See 1 Peter 5:7)

Therefore take no thought, saying,

What shall we eat?

or, What shall we drink?

or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things

do the Gentiles seek:)

for your heavenly Father knoweth

that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first

the kingdom of God,

and his righteousness;

and all these things

shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow:

for the morrow shall take thought

for the things of itself.

Sufficient unto the day

is the evil thereof.”  Matthew 6:31-34

What are you/I seeking?  Our actions will usually reveal the answer to that question.  And to keep this brief, I want to take us to a great passage in the Psalms that is one of my ‘go to’ favorites; reminding me ‘how to’ keep my “eyes on Jesus”!  I pray that it will help you and encourage you in whatever choices you may be facing.  And know that I totally understand as we are also facing some life-changing decisions at our house too.  But I know that our God is able, faithful, and true to HIS Word!  He has never failed me yet, though I have often failed HIM, and I know HE will continue to direct our steps as we seek HIS face.  And my great prayer is that I will be found faithful before HIM!  How about you?  And just a reminder, what you “delight” in will usually lead to the desires of your heart!

Trust in the LORD,

and do good;

so shalt thou dwell in the land,

and verily thou shalt be fed.

4 Delight thyself also in the LORD;

and he shall give thee

the desires of thine heart.

5 Commit thy way unto the LORD;

trust also in him;

and he shall bring it to pass.

6 And he shall bring forth

thy righteousness

as the light,

and thy judgment

as the noonday.

7 Rest in the LORD,

and wait patiently for him:

fret not thyself

because of him

who prospereth in his way,

because of the man

who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

8 Cease from anger,

and forsake wrath:

fret not thyself

in any wise to do evil.”   Psalm 37:3-8

And in closing a bit of advice from James again, to remind us that we must strive to walk in The Spirit not the flesh.

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.” James 1:19-20

And Paul gives a great closing challenge; may we take heed to our walk—are we in the flesh or The Spirit?  It’s your choice but choose wisely!  There is a test!

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil

the lust of the flesh…

25 If we live in the Spirit,

 let us also walk in the Spirit.”   Galatians 5:16 & 25

Amen and Amen!!!

 

Perhaps A Simple Thank YOU? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 12

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 12 Perhaps A Simple Thank YOU?

 

I’d like to turn our attention to gratitude for a few minutes this evening—and yes, I know it’s not November; but gratitude is an attitude that we ought to cultivate every day of the year, not just in November, or on Thanksgiving Day! Gratitude is a biblical mindset, and we ought to pursue it daily.  Paul gives us a list of godly characteristics that we are to cultivate, and I pray that we can be encouraged through the scriptures.

Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks:

for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus

concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things;

hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.”   1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

We can hardly rejoice and pray effectively when we don’t have a grateful spirit; for we can find ourselves caught up in a spirit of resentment, bitterness, and selfishness when we allow our attitude to forget to have scripture as our guide and not the world around us.  We must reject the mindset of the world which most often is one of greed, lust, and self-gratification; rather than one of joy, prayer, and gratitude, and not “quenching” the Spirit of God!  Ouch!  There is an Old Testament passage that I think gives some great insight into this dilemma.

The LORD liveth;

and blessed be my rock;

and exalted be the God

of the rock of my salvation.

48 It is God that avengeth me,

and that bringeth down the people under me,

49 And that bringeth me forth

from mine enemies:

thou also hast lifted me up on high

above them that rose up against me:

thou hast delivered me

from the violent man.

50 Therefore I will give thanks unto thee,

O LORD,

among the heathen,

and I will sing praises

unto thy name.

51 He is the tower of salvation

for his king:

and sheweth mercy to his anointed,

unto David,

and to his seed

for evermore.”  2 Samuel 22:47-51

I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen”!  We are to give “thanks unto” The Lord, “among the heathen”, living a life of gratitude among a world of self, greed, and lust!  We are to live a life that reflects WHO our “tower of salvation” IS!  Part of the 100th Psalm reminds us of the awesome power of our Creator—our Lord—our Redeemer—our Savior!

Make a joyful noise

unto the LORD,

all ye lands.

2 Serve the LORD

with gladness:

come before his presence

with singing.

3 Know ye that the LORD

he is God:

it is he that hath made us,

and not we ourselves;

we are his people,

and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates

with thanksgiving,

and into his courts

with praise:

be thankful unto him,

and bless his name.

5 For the LORD is good;

his mercy is everlasting;

and his truth

endureth to all generations.”   Psalm 100:1-5

Even as John recorded in the Book of the Revelation:

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying,

Holy, holy, holy,

Lord God Almighty,

which was,

and is,

and is to come.

9 And when those beasts

give glory

and honour

and thanks

to him that sat on the throne,

who liveth for ever and ever,

10 The four and twenty elders fall down

before him that sat on the throne,

and worship him

that liveth for ever and ever,

and cast their crowns

before the throne, saying,

11 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 4:8-11

And as John continues, regarding The Lamb of Godwho takes away the sin of the world”, the only One who IS worthy to open the scroll/book.

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.

13 And every creature

which is in heaven,

and on the earth,

and under the earth,

and such as are in the sea,

and all that are in them, heard I saying,

Blessing,

and honour,

and glory,

and power,

be unto him that sitteth upon the throne,

and unto the Lamb

for ever and ever.

14 And the four beasts said,

Amen.

And the four and twenty elders

fell down and worshipped him

that liveth for ever and ever.”   Revelation 5:9-14

As God is “worthy” of our praise and our gratitude, we are to live worthy lives unto The One who loves us, and cares for us, and gave HIMSELF for our eternal life!  Paul makes it clear that we are called to “walk worthy” of HIM who died for us.

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you that ye walk worthy

of the vocation

wherewith ye are called,

2 With all lowliness

and meekness,

with longsuffering,

forbearing one another

in love;”  Ephesians 4:1-2

For this cause we also,

since the day we heard it,

do not cease to pray for you,

and to desire that ye might be filled

with the knowledge of his will

in all wisdom

and spiritual understanding;

10 That ye might walk worthy

of the Lord

unto all pleasing,

being fruitful

in every good work,

and increasing

in the knowledge of God;”   Colossians 1:9-10

As ye know how we

exhorted

and comforted

and charged

every one of you,

as a father doth his children,

12 That ye would walk worthy

of God,

who hath called you

unto his kingdom and glory.”   1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

And as we are thinking about gratitude, and walking worthy of our Lord, I simply want to direct our hearts and minds to that which our Lord taught us about a life of prayer—prayer that is focused on God, in His Word, and pursuing HIS will and HIS Kingdom in all we do.

After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father

which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done

in earth,

as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day

our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil:

For thine

is the kingdom,

and the power,

and the glory,

for ever. Amen.”  Matthew 6:9-13

When was the last time you/I said “thank you” to our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit?   May God truly help us to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”, walking worthy of the blood that cleanses us from all sin!  May others see a grateful heart reflecting The Lord who transforms lives!

Beloved, now are we the sons of God,

and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:

but we know that,

when he shall appear,

we shall be like him;

for we shall see him as he is.

3 And every man that hath this hope in him

purifieth himself,

even as he is pure.”  1 John 3:2-3  Amen!!!

Living By Grace In Faith!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #741

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #741  Living By Grace In Faith!!!

And lest I should be exalted above measure

through the abundance

of the revelations,

there was given to me a thorn in the flesh,

 the messenger of Satan to buffet me,

lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice,

that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me,

My grace is sufficient for thee:

for my strength is made perfect

in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory

in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ

may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure

in infirmities,

in reproaches,

in necessities,

in persecutions,

in distresses

for Christ’s sake:

for when I am weak,

then am I strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Oh, how often I praise God for this amazing testimony of Paul’s.  Here we have one of the most powerful men of God, one who was called to be Christ’s Apostle, and yet HE had this trial, this burden, this affliction allowed to come into HIS life that HE could remind us that GOD is sufficient to any situation that HE sends, permits, or allows to come into our lives as well.  What reassurance this brings to my heart, for much like all of you we have trials at our house also; and I am reminded of what Paul told us in his passage on spiritual warfare;  an amazing reminder that I count on daily, especially in our present station of life.  You may have noticed that I haven’t posted recently, for we took some time to get away and be refreshed by some dear friends; yet even that turned into quite the encounter as we drove home, but I praise God that HE is always with us.  My mind goes to Ephesians 6, even as I sit here writing to myself as well as for you.

Finally, (God always has the last word)–

my brethren, (for all saints IN JESUS)–

be strong in the Lord, (IN HIM NOT me)–

and in the power (IN HIS power not mine)–

of his might.”(BY HIS total provision)–  Ephesians 6:10

When my body is in pain, or weary to the bone; when I just feel like I can’t go one step farther; when I feel like I’m drowning in the demands I face, or that if one more request comes, I will crumble; when all these things, feelings and thoughts come pouring in, I must look up—and so can you!  And we will find our precious LORD sufficient to restore, refresh and renew our hearts, minds, and souls—even though the body may still hurt—God is ever working for our good and HIS glory.

I’d simply like to share a few passages to encourage your heart and mine today in the sufficiency of our Lord in ALL things—ALL the time!

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.

19 We love him,

because he first loved us.”  1 John 4:18-19

John also encourages us again in The Revelation:

John to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace be unto you,

and peace,

from him which is,

and which was,

and which is to come;

and from the seven Spirits

which are before his throne;

5 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,”  Revelation 1:4-5

And remember our hope and secure assurance is totally in our Lord Jesus Christ. We win!

Ye are of God, little children,

and have overcome them:

because greater is he

that is in you,

 than he

 that is in the world.”  1 John 4:4

In closing may these words resound in our hearts, that we may “stand fast in the evil day”!

Humble yourselves therefore

under the mighty hand of God,

that he may exalt you

in due time:

7 Casting all your care

upon him;

for he careth for you.

8 Be sober,

be vigilant;

 because your adversary the devil,

as a roaring lion,

walketh about,

seeking whom he may devour:

 9 Whom resist

stedfast

in the faith,

knowing that the same afflictions

are accomplished in your brethren

that are in the world.”  1 Peter 5:6-9

I pray The Lord Jesus lift, comfort and encourage your heart today, as we remember that our GOD IS sufficient in all!

Not that we are sufficient

of ourselves

to think any thing

as of ourselves;

but our sufficiency

is of God;”  2 Corinthians 3:5

Amen and Amen!!!

 

Through All Things…HE IS Here!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #739

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #739 Through All Things…HE IS Here!!!

 

But now thus saith the LORD that created thee,

O Jacob,

and he that formed thee,

O Israel,

Fear not:

for I have redeemed thee,

I have called thee by thy name;

thou art mine.

2 When thou passest through the waters,

I will be with thee;

and through the rivers,

they shall not overflow thee:

when thou walkest through the fire,

thou shalt not be burned;

 neither shall the flame

kindle upon thee.

3 For I am the LORD thy God,

the Holy One of Israel,

thy Saviour…..”   Isaiah 43:1-3

I would like to share a few things this morning that I pray will lift our hearts and encourage us today in whatever trials we may be encountering.  GOD IS ALWAYS HERE! THERE!  EVERYWHERE!  Just look up and call upon HIM!

My sheep hear my voice,

and I know them,

and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them

eternal life;

and they shall never perish,

neither shall any man

pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me,

is greater than all;

and no man is able to pluck them

 out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one.”  John 10:27-30

Jesus IS God, and HE loves you and me and calls us to lean upon HIM in every situation; I have found HIM faithful, and HE has NEVER failed me—EVER!  So run to HIS throne today, no matter how frightened, frustrated, confused, tired or weary you may be—HE IS THERE for you/me right now!

Seeing then that we have a great high priest,

that is passed into the heavens,

Jesus the Son of God,

let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest

which cannot be touched

with the feeling of our infirmities;

but was in all points tempted

like as we are,

 yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly

unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help

in time of need.”   Hebrews 4:14-16

We can come “boldly” to our loving Lord, not in arrogance or presumption, but with bold confidence, knowing that HIS open arms are ever waiting for us to run into, no matter the situation.  He is ever working on our behalf, bringing us to glory—HIS GLORY to share!

Being confident of this very thing,

that he which hath begun a good work in you

will perform it until the day

of Jesus Christ:”   Philippians 1:6

HE IS my confidence and can be yours!  Amen and Amen!!!