The Mercies of the Lord

Have you sung of the mercies of the Lord?  What does it mean to sing of the mercies of the Lord? 

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Psalms 89:1

Have you sung of the mercies of the Lord?  What does it mean to sing of the mercies of the Lord?  Has God saved you from the hand of the [evil one]?  These are important questions we must answer for ourselves because it is based upon a promise that God has made generations ago through a covenant.  In Psalms chapter 89, it is all about a covenant that God made with David.  However, God’s covenant began with the children of Israel who came out of Egypt.  That covenant was carried on through David.  In fact, it is still being carried on today, for many are being grafted into the vine through Christ [see Romans 11:23].  I do not know of any covenant that has lasted this long in history, but it is amazing how our God in loving kindness and compassion provided a way through Christ for us to be grafted into the olive branch.  It is unbelief and disobedience that detaches us from the olive branch and the covenant or promises of God.

God’s faithfulness to graft people into the vine is a mystery especially for the Jewish population, but God’s promises is a sure thing and will continue to carry on for all generations.  This is something to sing and shout about.  A covenant is an agreement between two people.  That agreement carries on a commitment of honoring a pledge.  David was a man after God’s own heart because he learned about obedience and repentance.  David had a passion for God and wanted to build a house for God like his own.  David spoke to Nathan a prophet about building that house for the Lord.  The Lord told Nathan that he did not ask for a house to be built for him.  Since the time he brought Israel out of Egypt, God has walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.  God went on to say to Nathan the prophet to tell David how He has chosen David from the “sheepcote,” which means a covered enclosure for sheep to being a ruler over the people of Israel [see 2 Samuel 7:8]. 

We can have the best intentions to do something for the Lord, but it may not always be in God’s will to carry out what we have personally planned.  Such was the case with David.  God was reminding David where he came from and what his purpose was in that he was to be a ruler over the people of Israel.  It is God who appoints people to a position.  It is God who finds the place for the people to dwell.  It is God who withholds the wicked from afflicting His children and or people.  Within the family of God is mercy everlasting in that His purpose is to restore and bring healing to all generations.  You can read for yourself in 2 Samuel chapter 7 what Nathan told David in verses 4 through 17.  It is amazing that God spoke about the past and the future with David and we can also see how God had a specific plan for David’s life.

In verse 3 of Psalms 89 it states a covenant was made with David and that his seed is establish forever. God affirms His covenant with David, and David rejoices in the goodness of the Lord. If you read on in Psalms 89, you will find that God chastened those who do not follow in His will or commandments [see verses 30-32 of Psalms 89]. Despite the disobedience of His people, God still showed his loving-kindness and faithfulness [see verse 33 of Psalms 89]. Forgiveness and restoration are in God’s hand. God will never break his covenant, nor the words that were spoken from His lips. We can have the assurance through Christ that we are grafted into the precious vine that gives us life eternal. Like David we can sing of the mercies of the Lord forever because Christ is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. 

God is able to save us from all sins, and from the evil one who is Satan.  How wonderful are the mercies of the Lord that He provided a way for everyone to be saved.  Let me tell you how great this is.  I was born out of wedlock, and I have traveled halfway around the world to learn about the salvation of the Lord.  Today, there are a lot of lost teens who are looking for their identity.  I wanted to know who I was and where I came from.  I had no ties to my real father or my mother’s family.  There are a lot of people who question their identity, and there are those who also run from their family identity.  I found out that my grandmother was of Jewish lineage through a will after she had passed away.  I never had the opportunity of meeting my grandmother.  Today, many people are finding out about who, or where they came from through DNA testing.  My DNA is split right down the middle like two sides of the coin.  One side is the Jewish lineage, and the other side is where fables and stories of paganism come from.  Our culture can influence who we are as an individual, but we make the choice to follow it or something else.  Sometimes this can be a battle that we fight with on a personal level.  In my early teen years, I ran away from home in the city of Perth.  In Kings Park in the city of Perth, I was physically assaulted.  I cried out to God, and He saved me from being seriously hurt and from being choked to death. 

God’s love and mercy saved me.  He spoke to me and told me I had to go back home.  I was totally lost and did not know where I was, but He miraculously brought me back home. I was amazed that God would talk to me in an audible voice and that He would help me to bear the verbal abuse of my mother.  I did not understand why I got the negative verbal abuse nor why my mom was angry.   We do not always know the truth behind the situation that we are in, but God knows.  After this experience, I fully trusted in God to see me through.  I did not know about God’s son Jesus Christ.  All I knew was the ten commandments that I had memorized when I was nine years old.  God had a plan for my life, a future that as a teen, I was not aware of. I had to trust God that He would work it out no matter what happened. You may find yourself in a similar situation not knowing where you are going, or what the future may hold for you. Trust God to bring you through any situation and to place you where you need to be. His love and mercy will restore you and bring healing to your heart and soul.  No matter what danger you are in, you can call upon the Lord to save you.  He will protect you and provide shelter when you need it.  In 1974 in Seattle, I learned about God’s son who died on the cross for my sins.  It is through Christ sacrifice on the cross that we can come to the Father in prayer.   I also found out that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets [see Matthew 5:17].

No matter what you are going through, you can be assured that God knows all about it.  His Love and mercy are always available to you.  It is through Christ that we can enter the throne room of grace and mercy to ask for help.  Like David, we can also sing of the mercies of the Lord.

Everlasting Joy

Can we as Christians have everlasting “Joy” in our life every day? Is there plenty of joy in your life? Being glad and having happiness for most of us is an emotional response that only occurs occasionally

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

John 15:11

Can we as Christians have everlasting “Joy” in our life every day? Is there plenty of joy in your life? Being glad and having happiness for most of us is an emotional response that only occurs occasionally. Jesus is speaking about a joy that is lasting because it is His joy that is within our heart, and it is a fullness of joy.  Hebrew words often depend on the context in which they are used, so one must study to understand what the full meaning conveys in the written text.  Hebrew words are conveyed by themselves as concrete instead of abstract, so it is important to see the context of a whole sentence in which the word is placed.  The Hebrew word for joy is “simcha,” and means to have exceedingly, gladness, and joyfulness. In John chapter 15, the word “Joy” can be associated with well-being in that it is through Christ that we can have an everlasting amount of joy. In John chapter 15, Jesus is talking about a fullness of everlasting joy that comes from knowing him. It is based upon fellowship, and this is the key to living in the vine.

John chapter 15 is all about abiding in the vine. Jesus exclaims that we are the branches and He himself is the vine.

“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

It is all about keeping Jesus foremost in our life. Nothing should separate us from Jesus or take over in importance in our everyday life. Our life is the life of Jesus living through us through the Holy Spirit. In fact, “Joy” is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit [see Galatians 5:22]. If you read the whole chapter of John 15, Jesus explains about bearing fruit as a result of abiding in the vine. So, having a fullness or everlasting joy comes from abiding in the vine [who is Jesus] to where you will bear much fruit.  This is the act of getting to know someone personally. This is a continuous process of growth. If you are not growing, then you are dying from not receiving nourishment from the source of the vine. Something is blocking the source of nourishment from the vine.

It is like a plant I have and no matter what treatment I give it, such as misting, fertilizer, sunlight, and water, the plant leaves are dying and dropping off. The plant has disease that is causing this condition. Any kind of blockage that an individual is withholding from the Lord will cause disease to start and decay. If we confess all to Jesus nothing is withheld. Jesus assures us that if we abide in him and in his words, we can ask him anything, and it shall be done [see John 15:7]. Let us remember that love is also in the fruit of the Spirit. To have love and joy means to abide in the vine where the source of nourishment is. There is always a process of growth in the Christian walk. Like the disciples of Jesus, they grow from being a servant to becoming friends to be a brother in the Lord. This is a progression of growth and Jesus said that this growth will bear much fruit that the Father will be glorified [see John 15:8].

“Every day has enough trouble of its own., therefore; we pray every day and seek the word of God to keep the communication open for growth to occur. This is our sanctification which means to become holy. A person can only be Holy if they are grafted into the vine, and this is what the Apostle Paul referenced in Romans 11:16. “If the root is Holy, so are the branches.” The fellowship we have is through Christ and through Christ we are able to love one another. In 1 John chapter one verses 3 and 4, we have the same reference about our joy being full. John exclaims that our fellowship is with the Father, and with his son, Jesus Christ. That is why the Word of life was written, or the Word of God. The conclusion is that we are to stay in the vine which is the source of light so we can have fellowship with Jesus and each other. How miraculous this is as it takes on the evidence of our well-being and our feelings of having everlasting joy. Our wellbeing comes from Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.  Placing our faith in Jesus gives us fellowship.  Faith opens the door for the miracles to happen.  You could say it this way that Jesus who is our faith opens the door for miracles to happen.   This brings joy into our heart that will remain in us forever until the coming of our Lord. 

May His joy forever live within your heart and soul. This week is also very special for it is the Jewish New Year. The Jewish lunar calendar year now is 5782. It is also the 7th sabbath year of rest. What this means is that it is a time of getting to know our Lord better by hearing his voice. That our peace comes from the word of God. The 7th sabbath year of rest means that all debts are to be forgiven and distribution of food is to be distribute widely. There is to be no working of the land for food. The land is resting for the year in that animals may eat of what is left growing along with the people. This sabbatical year is known as Shemitah. If you like to read more about it, click on the word to go to the site: Shemitah.

Listen to the song titled “Abide in My Love,” taken from John chapter 15. Here is the link to the song at my music web site: Abide in My Love.

The Trial of your faith

Are you going through many temptations and feeling discouraged or hopeless? You are not alone and if anyone tells you to pull up your pants and bear up to your circumstances does not know the full reality that you are personally facing.

In this ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold trials. . .

1 Peter 1:6

Are you going through many temptations and feeling discouraged or hopeless? You are not alone and if anyone tells you to pull up your pants and bear up to your circumstances does not know the full reality that you are personally facing. We do not walk in each other’s shoes simply because the shoe does not always fit. Everyone has a different experience in life because they are created with different genes. It would be boring if we were all exactly alike in our DNA. I have learned and seen that in general people are gifted with different aptitude and human characteristics. I thank God for them because it gives the opportunity of helping each other out in our weaknesses. It is what a family is all about. Those within the family are the foundation that is built upon growth by the elder helping and teaching the younger within the group to become the best they can be. The family unit usually defines maturing into adulthood.

In America, we may have lost the cohesiveness of the family so many individuals must rely on other adults to help them in the process of maturing. This was true for me especially when I entered my teen years, my mother decided to leave my father. Any breakup within the family is an adjustment. Any sickness within the family is an adjustment. Any soldier that comes home from a war is an adjustment. Why? Because the adjustment means we must face change in our environment and in our emotional response. This can be the trial we face depending upon how we respond to the change. Our character is under attack, and it is not an easy thing to go through when you are right in the middle of going through it. Some call it a part of life and may just brush it off, but it is much more than that because it can define our character in who we are as a person. Any kind of suffering involves an emotional response and therefore should not be taken lightly. As Christians we are to bear one another burdens in order to fulfill the law of Christ [see Galatians 6:2]. In verse 3 of Galatians the apostle Paul said that “if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

Let us pray that we are not deceiving ourselves by thinking we are better than the next person. It is better to humble yourself as a little child before our Lord. The apostle Peter addressed this in 1 Peter 5:5.

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

1 Peter 5:5

Being subject to one another means to work out your disagreements. Disagreements can be a temptation and it can cause a sorrow of heaviness within our heart. Don’t allow the disagreement to annul your relationship with an individual unless it deals with doing evil or harming someone. Temptations deal with doing the right thing and not being proud of whatever you are doing. Our example is Christ Jesus who “also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth,” [see 1 Peter 2:22]. Temptations can deal with devious ploys and schemes to which you should not get involved and become a part of. There should be no deception between you and the other person. There should be no deception between a husband and wife either. As a child of God, we are to live a holy life in everything we do. In fact, Peter states that “he who has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of life,” [see 1 Peter 1:15]. We must surrender to the Lord our weaknesses and ask him to intervene and guide us through our emotions and the trails we are facing.

While we go through trials and the testing of our faith in Christ Jesus, the Apostle Peter urges us to consider our salvation, the glory of our Lord’s return, and the effect of purifying our character into the image of Christ will bring the result of patience and joy. We may not be able to see the result when going through a trial, but that trial is more precious than gold stated the Apostle Peter [see 1 Peter 1:7]. It is with prayer that the trial you are experiencing may be found in praise, honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. We can confess and bring all our trials and troubles to God, and this is what Job did for he assured, “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withheld from thee,” [see Job 42:2]. Job repented from not praying for his friends and the Lord blessed him by giving back twice of what Job lost during his trial [see Job 42:10]. Remember that it is your soul and spirit that the enemy is after who is Satan. We must “abstain from all appearance of evil,” [see 1 Thessalonians 5:22]. That means to hold back, renounce, and avoid all forms of evil. Our victory is in Christ Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. This is our joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.

Let us remember part of the lyrics to “What a friend we have in Jesus.”

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer

The Struggle of Two Natures

I do not know of any Christian that does not struggle between “Two Natures” that some call good or evil. We do not understand why we do what we do. We tend to do what we should not do even when we want to do good.

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Romans 7:14

I do not know of any Christian that does not struggle between “Two Natures” that some call good or evil. We do not understand why we do what we do. We tend to do what we should not do even when we want to do good.

Man between an angel and devil

It is like the picture above which some of us have seen when we were a child on cartoons. I have seen it on Sponge Bob Square Pants as well as on the TV show “The Simpsons.” Do you ever wonder why even as a child that this struggle still carries on into adulthood. Why is it that we do not heed the warning signs? It could be that we just do not believe it is true, and need to experience it to learn the truth about it. It is like diving in to fast to eat your soup. Did you know that there is a proper etiquette to eating your bowl of soup? First of all, I do not see everyone diving into it because it may be too hot and you can burn yourself. This is why we use the spoon and scoop the edge of the bowl away from us when extracting soup towards our mouth to eat. This is so we do not splatter hot soup on us. The bible is our moral compass and if you find yourself struggling on what to do, you are not alone. Every good Christian struggles with their nature or behavior to do good or evil. The apostle Paul dealt with this subject of two natures in writing to the Roman Christians.

For that which I do I understand not; for what I would, that do I Not; but what I hate, that do I.

Romans 7:15

“I do what I hate to do,” said the apostle Paul and if he had issues with it there is no doubt that everyone has issues with not doing the right thing. So what was it that Paul found out about dealing with this issue? Paul found that there is a law present that if he did good, evil is present with him [see Romans 7:21]. In fact, he describes several laws. We have laws in place in countries in order to live a peaceful life with all mankind. For the most part civil law is supposed to be good in that it regulates concerns in private relations between members of a community. It is the principal of equality within communities. The apostle Paul who was a Roman citizen by birth received certain consideration when thrown in jail. The apostle Paul addressed six laws. The law of Moses which condemns, the law as a principle within society, the law of faith, which excludes self-righteousness, the law of the mind that tries to do good but can not do it, the law of sin within humanity, the law of the Spirit that has the power to deliver the believer from sin.

The result the apostle Paul found is in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” I hear many Christian quote up to the part in Christ Jesus, but leave off the not walking after the flesh, but after the Spirit. What Paul is saying here is that our walk in our behavior and action must match that of Christ Jesus. The end result is walking in the Spirit which means we surrender our self to Jesus who is our priesthood and our redemption. Jesus fulfilled the demands of the Mosaic law and He is the one who sends us the Holy Spirit. Paul mentions the “Spirit” sixteen times in Romans chapter 8 and therefore we should take note that this is a most pivotal conclusion to the problem of the struggle between two natures. It is the Spirit that gives us life. Listen to what Jesus said in John 6:63.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 6:63

We must remember that the law is spiritual, as Paul exclaimed in chapter seven of Romans, but “I am carnal, sold under sin” [see Romans 7:14]. Our checks and balances come from the word of God and through the Holy Spirit that points to Christ. When we struggle with our old nature, we take it to Jesus and ask him to intervene and allow His Spirit to take control of our mind and actions. We ask through prayer that we put to death any feelings of hatred, getting even, anger, or anything that does not project the image of Christ. Some may have to struggle in letting it go. Remember the flesh will not profit. There are those who have gotten even, and later found that it did not bring them a lasting peace. Peace only comes through the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Reprove yourself and flee from doing evil. Remember that the Apostle Paul said to “be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good,’ [see Romans 12:21].

Let us pray and ask God to help us to overcome evil by doing good. Let us walk in the Spirit of Christ knowing it is ” the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that hath made me free from the law of sin and death,” [Romans 8:2]. We must get under control our emotions and our mind by giving it to Jesus at the cross where our victory is. Sing along and ask god to renew a right spirit within you. Released in 1984 by Keith Green.

The body for the Lord

Why is the body for the Lord? Do you have control over your whole body? Those who are older may wish to be young again, and those who are younger want to be older and wiser.

Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:13

Why is the body for the Lord? Do you have control over your whole body? Those who are older may wish to be young again, and those who are younger want to be older and wiser. It is the catch-22 dilemma or stumbling block that each human must face. No one can escape the process of aging of our physical body. James the brother of Jesus commented that a perfect man can control their whole body [see James 3:1-3]. How many of us are perfect man or women who can control their own body? It is our mind that speaks through our mouth that pollutes our body. Whatever you put into your body is the result of its output. We are taught to take care of our bodies in what we eat and do, so we can get the best results for our physical well-being.  Science has taught us a lot and it is still investigating the theories to bring us the truth of what is happening within our bodies.  We can not ignore the importance of maintaining good health with proper nutrition.  In the Old Testament the Jews were told by God what they should eat to maintain a healthy body. 

Regarding the COVID-19 vaccines they are kosher and do not contain pork products in the form of gelatin. Kosher food refers to foods that meet Jewish dietary standards. There are many people that follow the Jewish dietary standards. Many Jewish doctors in the UK have addressed the rumors about the vaccines. The Jewish News comments that “We live in a time where misinformation is increasingly common. Rumors spread quickly, and social media has played a significant contribution in this.” It is important to be careful what you post on social media as to not become a part of the problem of spreading rumors, but to pray and seek out the truth for the questions you have. We all must have patience when seeking answers to our questions.  Plain common sense is the key to being more aware and reflecting on situations is wise before you make any decisions on what you are going to do. 

I remember in the 1980’s the Firm Believer fitness program by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Judy Moser became popular to meet the needs of those who wanted to live a healthier lifestyle. Many Christians endorsed the program, and some churches opened their doors to having a weekly exercise program.  I also remember watching the Jack LaLanne show and the Richard Simmons show that had exercise routines to help keep our bodies fit for living every day. How many of us ask God in prayer to help us to stop those crash diets, those habits of eating too many sweets, or feelings of tiredness, fatigue, and exhaustion that hamper us from doing what we should be doing to stay physically and spiritually fit. Do we really care about what we eat and what type of physical activity we do every day? No matter what age you are, taking care of your own body is a daily routine. Disease is growing at a rapid rate according to the world health organization and following that is the global pandemics. As Christians we should be aware and concerned about how to keep our body as belonging to the Lord and not for self-indulgence.

How can we present our bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice as Paul tells us in Romans 12:1. Let us not forget that the apostle Paul stated that our “body is not for fornication but for the Lord, [1 Corinthians 6:13]?  Paul also asked the question in 1 Corinthians 6:15, “know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?” How does this apply to our physical body? It is not only our mind, will, and emotion that belongs to the Lord, but our physical body as well. That is why Jesus went about healing everyone who was sick or had disease. Salvation and healing are found in the cross of Christ because he bought us with a price. The body is to be holy because it is washed and justified through the blood of Christ.

For ye are bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s

1 Corinthians 6:20

Our body is not to be used in selfish indulgences such as overeating or sexual immorality. Paul states to flee fornication because it is a sin against your own body [see 1 Corinthians 6:18]. Run away from sexual immorality and keep your own body pure and holy. Our body is part of the sanctification process through Christ and now it belongs to the Lord. That is why Paul exclaims that “all things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any [1 Corinthians 6:12]. We should not be brought under the power of anything that would degrade our body towards death rather than towards life. We are not to be conformed to the worldly ways of practicing selfish indulgences but to cease from them and be transformed by the renewing of our minds to what is good for us physically and spiritually. God is concerned for our whole being and not just a part of it.

If thy whole body, therefore, be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp doth give thee light.

Luke 11:36

The whole body is to be full of light having no part of darkness within it. Pray and ask the Lord to help heal your body and to get your appetites, desires, or whims under control. Ask to receive a new desire that is righteous and holy in the image of Christ. Ask to take steps in building up your own physical body by changing your diet to one that will support a healthy immune system. Ask the Lord to help you maintain your health through exercising on a weekly basis. Take practical steps such as washing hands, disinfecting counter tops, and wearing a mask when conditions are worsening in a specific area that you live in or are visiting. Ask the Lord to guide you and your doctor to consider natural alternatives to building and maintaining a healthy body. Ask the Lord to give understanding within those around you to support you in maintaining that healthy body. Remember He cares for you and your body, for you are presenting your body to the Lord as a living sacrifice [see Romans 12:1].

Let us labor to enter His rest

How does one labor to enter His rest? No one wants to fall short of entering His rest, yet it happens to many Christians. Why? Because of unbelief.

Let us labor, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Hebrews 4:11

How does one labor to enter His rest? No one wants to fall short of entering His rest, yet it happens to many Christians. Why? Because of unbelief. Unbelief is the number one problem and the reason why many Christians do not enter His rest.  This means we have fallen or departed from the living God. Listen to the warning sings in Hebrews chapter 3.

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing form the living God.

Hebrew 3:12

In the time of Moses, Israel did not enter the promised land of Canaan because of unbelief. They had a hard time of believing in God to meet all their needs. When they did not receive what they needed, they rebelled. Their hearts were hardened, and they did not heed the word of God. They could not even wait for Moses to come down from the mountain before they went their own way. Moses had to plead to God to pardon them and the Lord said to Moses, “how long will it be before they believe me, for all the signs which I have sown among them,” [see Numbers 14:11]. The promise land of milk and honey was a land where there was lots of vegetation and bees to sustain their living. It is interesting to note that rest here means to cease from exertion. Many of us may find ourselves laboring to enter that rest.

We may believe in God for our salvation, but we may not believe in God for our healing, or as our provider to sustain us in life. We may have hidden hinderance that prevent us from fully believing in God in these areas, yet God is telling us to fully believe in him for all things in our life. We therefore labor, struggle, work at having faith in God because of a lack of teaching or knowledge in the word of God, or simply not being able to fully trust in the Lord. We wrestle through prayer also to enter that rest. It is why in chapter four of Hebrews verse 16 it states for us to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Every day we have personal needs that must be fulfilled. We need added strength to carry out our daily living. If rest means sabbath, then who is lord of that sabbath?

For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Matthew 12:8

Jesus is Lord of the sabbath and the first thing he does is to heal on the Sabbath. Wow! To me that is exciting to read about the healing of the man whose hand was paralyzed.   Jesus healed them all who needed healing. There is nothing that our God does not know when it comes to our personal needs.  All things that pertain to man is before the Lord’s eye. That is why the apostle Peter exclaimed, “grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,” [see 2 Peter 1:2]. The apostle Peter goes on to say that through His divine power, He has given us all things that pertain to life. All things, not just Salvation.  We are to be partakers of that divine nature of God since we have escaped the corruption of this world through Christ. We are to add to our faith virtue, righteousness, and knowledge. If we lack anything, He will supply. Just remember that self-control and patience are also added to our faith because we trust in God to fulfill His promises.

We can stir ourselves up by reading the word and speaking about it to each other. This will make our calling in Christ a sure thing. This will build our faith up knowing that it is on a sure foundation because Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Therefore, we hold fast our profession, for Jesus, the Son of God is our high priest, and He also intercedes on our behalf [see Romans 8:34]. Nothing should keep us from fully believing in God for all our needs.   Let us fully enter His rest even if we must work and wrestle through prayer in getting there.  Remember that He loves you and cares for you.

Believe not every spirit

“Beloved, believe not every spirit,” exclaimed Apostle John. There are spirits in the world today that are contrary to the word of God. These spirits bring a false witness in the body of Christ.

 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

1 John 4:3

“Beloved, believe not every spirit,” exclaimed the Apostle John. There are spirits in the world today that are contrary to the word of God. These spirits bring a false witness into the body of Christ. As Christians we are not to be so gullible and believe every spirit we meet. In fact, the Apostle John mentions Christians as little children. John knew that as little children it is easy to go astray.  Children need help, guidance, and instruction to help them grow and the Apostle John is warning Christians to be aware of lying and deceitful spirits.    Christians are to try [test or prove] the spirits to see whether they are of God. Not all spirits are of God. I remember Smith Wigglesworth talking about voices that some Christians hear in their head thinking it is from God, but this is not always true. Not all voices or spirits are from God.

We must test the spirit to see if it is from God. The Apostle John gives us instruction on how to test the spirit by asking if Jesus Christ came in the flesh [see verse 2 of 1 John 4]. If they do not believe that Jesus Christ came in the flesh or took on human form, they are not of God, but rather they are of the spirit of the antichrist.   The spirit of the antichrist is a spirit that is against Christ deity as the Son of God that came in human form, died on the cross and arose.  Christ death and resurrection defeated the power of death who is the devil [see Hebrews 2:14].   It is rarely preached about in the pulpit today, but it is a warning to all Christians to not to believe every spirit you hear. All speech needs to be tested and prove to see if it aligns with the word of God. This is because of the many false prophets and teachers that would arise in the latter days in the world. 

For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Mark 13:22

To think that even the elect [a person who holds a specific public office] such as a pastor, deacon, or elder can be seduced by a false prophet is very serious especially for the Pentecostal denominations where signs and wonders can become commonplace.  These spirits come in and change doctrine that is contrary to the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  All Christians should heed the warnings that the apostle John is giving, and He is not the only one in the Bible that gives Christians this warning.  Hearing any kind of voices and not testing to see if they are of God can lead to spiritual death.  It is what defiles a man that we should remember what Jesus said in Matthew 15:16-20, and he said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies.” We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; therefore, we should know a little about the darkness we have all come out of. Those vain words spoken to deceive us back into darkness.

No, we must not heed those vain words because as Christians our sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, and we have overcome the wicked one [see 1 John 2:12-14]. Those who are in Christ have overcome those who are in darkness including false teachers. The Apostle John encourages the children of God by saying, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” [see 1 John 4:4]. It is through the blood of Christ and his resurrection that overcame the spirit of darkness. The Apostle Paul calls the darkness the mystery of iniquity in 2 Thessalonians 2:7.   Paul also exclaims to let no man deceive you by any means [see 2 Thessalonians 2:3]. There will be a falling away or [apostasy] that will take place before the man of sin will be revealed. Some well-known pastors have already given the warning of denominations falling away from the rudimental teaching of the gospel of Christ.

There will be a time when many will not endure sound doctrine but will enlist teachers who will teach what they want to hear. Some would pervert the Gospel of Christ for their own pleasure of seeking monetary gain. I have personally witness removal of pastors who had a personal agenda instead of being a true servant of Christ. Let us heed the warnings in the word of God and pray that we do not fall short of the glory of God but prove all things and hold fast to that which is good [see 1 Thessalonians 5:21]. The Apostle Paul goes on to say in 1 Thessalonians 5:22-23, to abstain from all appearance of evil and he prayed that our whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stay on the road of the Gospel of Christ in love and know that you do not stand alone, for greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.  Know that the true spirit of God will always point to Christ who came in human form, died on the Cross, and arose from the dead, and now sits on the right hand of God.  It is Jesus, the son of God, who came in the flesh to save humanity.  Praise God who gave us His son as a sacrifice to save all humanity.

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. . .

Sometimes the grind of everyday living can bring a state of exhaustion, or an emotional drain that brings a negative response out of us.

Sometimes the grind of everyday living can bring a state of exhaustion, or an emotional drain that brings a negative response out of us. It is as if we have worked up a sweat and gotten dirty from having been exposed to the day’s activity. I have heard of decompressing from the day’s activities especially when the day has brought unexpected results of frustration. It can feel like we have been in a fight and now we need a bath to wash off the grime of the day. How do we decompress? Everyone needs space to decompress. Even Jesus decompressed by going up the mountain to pray. I can only imagine what his day brought when he went about his father’s business of sharing the gospel and witnessing negative unbelieve responses everywhere he went. He had to have time with the Father in prayer to work out those negative responses.

Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

Matthew 10:14

Maybe we should take a look at what Jesus told the twelve disciples in Matthew chapter ten. It is all about keeping the peace within ourselves if we are not received well from others. Look at verse 13 of chapter ten of Matthew where Jesus said to “let your peace return to you.” How do you shake off the dust of your feet? Conflict these days seem to be commonplace and it is easy to get worked up for nothing. Everybody has an opinion and sometimes others do not want to listen to what you have to say. It is time to shake off the dust of your feet. Have you ever wondered why Jesus washed the feet of the disciples? It is a form of purification from our attitude of the days conflicts. The spiritual renewing of washing the negative grime that we have picked up during the day. Jesus said to the disciples that they should wash one another’s feet [see John 13:14]. In other words, in the process of washing another’s foot, it will bring compassion and consideration for that individual. This is the Christian response in serving one another. It means to listen and respond in love. To help each other to renew our minds by the washing of water by the word.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

John 15:3

The word is so important because it helps us to focus on what is good, pure, and honest. It is why some churches have midweek services because the pastor realized that his congregation needed the washing of the word for the renewal of the mind. Some churches have midweek bible studies to help with the renewal of the mind. It is also why we have devotionals written to help Christians to renew their mind so that their attitude may be transformed into the image of Christ. The renewing of the mind is to put on the new man that is created in God through Christ where righteousness and true holiness resides [see Ephesian 4:24]. Anger, malice, and lying is to be put away so that we do not allow the devil room within our hearts [see verse 27 of Ephesians 4]. Having been in the world, we are not to be conform to the world’s characteristics.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:2

We are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind so that we can prove what is good and acceptable will of God. That we may know the will of God through the word. Just as you take a shower every day to cleanse your body, you should cleanse your mind from the daily grind of living by reading the word of God for the renewal of your mind. Like Jesus going up to the mountain to pray, we should find the time to read the word to help us to decompress ourselves from the daily grind of the world. Have you ever experienced a foot bath? Everyone should have this experience and know how soothing and refreshing it is and it also helps to relieve the stresses of the day. It is a very special time when Christians can wash one another’s foot by listening and sharing the word with each other. Remember that the world may not receive you, but let your peace remain within you, shake off the dust of your feet, and renew your mind with the word of God and relax in his love that He has for you today.

Walking in Newness of Life

How does one walk in “newness of life?” What does it mean to be baptized into Jesus Christ death?

Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death, that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:4

How does one walk in “newness of life?” What does it mean to be baptized into Jesus Christ death? We were taught in the Christian faith that baptism means immersion or dip under water for the washing and purifying the body from the flesh [from all sins]. The apostle Paul reaerated in verse three of chapter 6 of Romans that those who were baptized into Jesus were also baptized into his death. It is hard to conceive that we were united with Christ through his death, but it is a process of sanctification. Sanctification is to be set apart for a special use or purpose. Like a vessel that is used for specific tasks. It is to be set apart for a purpose that is united with Christ. This is a holy purpose that takes on the divine nature of Christ. I ponder upon this aspect of the Christian life and understanding how we are to be complete in Christ.

How many Christians are truly set apart for Christ to be used as a vessel of honor. Does our walk-in life reflect Christ true meaning of holiness? These are questions we each need to answer for ourselves. This is an individual choice we make, and it should not be taken lightly, for sanctification is a dedication to Christ in that it is a marriage. When a husband and wife are separated because of a disaster, there is an emptiness that resides within the individual. It is like the lines in the song titled, “Dedicated to the One I Love.”

While I’m far away from you, my baby

I know it’s hard for you, my baby

And it’s hard for me, my baby

And the darkest hour is just before dawn

That separation is painful to experience. Jesus felt that pain on the cross. Jesus experienced the human condition like no man has ever done in history on the cross, and that is why he is acquainted with all our ways [see Psalms 139:3]. Myer Pearlman, a theologian, and author stated that sanctification is positional and progressive in his book titled, “Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible.” He explained that the setting apart is the beginning of the process of sanctification. Pearlman states that this is a daily process and responsibility of every Christian. It is why some Christians are still carnal [see 1 Corinthians 3:3], because they have not move on towards growth in Christ. At this stage in their Christian walk they are not fully walking into the image of Christ. A cleansing needs to take place to wash the carnal desires away.   This is the reason why we hear the apostle Paul’s statement “to mortify our sinful members, and to put off the old man.” In other words, it is the function of the human personality that is not conforming to the image of Christ.

What many Christians do not understand is that they cannot do it all within themselves. Very few can maintain their image to be perfect without some human flaw revealing itself. There needs to be divine intervention to help both the positional and progressive process along. Every person progresses at a different stage in their Christian walk until we all come to unity in Christ. Sanctification is through the blood of Christ and worked in the human being through the Holy Spirit and the word of God. The blood of Christ does the cleansing while the Holy Spirit with the word of God helps lead us into the full knowledge of truth [see John 17:17]. It is a daily task to put away anything that does not reveal the image of Christ within our human behavior. The imperfections that we have are revealed in the word of God. Deliverance can only come through faith in the atonement with the working of the Holy Spirit.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

Ephesians 2:8

John Wesley dealt with the aspect of sanctification by affirming it as another work of grace. Our position is assured but our daily walk is a dying to self and taking up the cross of Christ in daily prayer asking the Lord to guide us to become more like Christ. We must have the love of God residing within our heart to allow the Holy Spirit to work through our character for change to take affect knowing that to be spiritually minded is life and peace [see Romans 8:6]. Whatever state we are in we are more than conquerors through him that loved us [see Romans 8:37]. May we continue to walk in newness of life through Jesus Christ, knowing His love is a sure thing, and through His love we can grow above whatever imperfections we may have. We can walk in newness of life every day by faith through Christ who gives us the victory.

Six Things the Lord God Dislikes

Do you know the six things that the Lord dislikes? Actually, it is seven things that the Lord dislikes and they are an abomination.

Do you know the six things that the Lord dislikes? Actually, it is seven things that the Lord dislikes and they are an abomination.

These six things doth the Lord Hate; yea seven are an abomination unto him.

Proverbs 6:16

Have you read Proverbs in the Bible? Proverbs was compiled in the 10th Century B.C. and is full of wisdom about life. It deals with faithfulness, honesty, business relationships, eating, drinking, and keeping bad company. Most of Proverbs comes from King Solomon, who was incredibly wise in dealing with justice in his court. It is rare that one hears a sermon taken from Proverbs, but when I read chapter 6 verses 16 through 19, I thought this should be taught for everyone would like to be treated fairly, plus no one wants to be lied to or have a false witness. We should not forget about having good manners when dealing with people in general. If we can follow the golden rule of doing unto others what you would want others to do to you, we would all be happy instead of cutting each other down. 

Do you remember “Miss Manners”?  Judith Martin was an American columnist, who wrote about etiquette. She wrote about problems about people having good manners and being polite. It is all about how we treat one another and in church it can be a big issue in how people behave around other people. Board members and committee members many times loose cohesion when they argue about a specific topic of concern. Division is just around the corner when there is no unity among members of a congregation. It is important to remember how the enemy who is Satan revels in the Christian saint’s discord.

If you behave in a way that offends the people you’re trying to deal with, they will stop dealing with you.

Judith Martin

Our behavior can offend others and these days that offence can lead to retaliation and other negative behavior we do not want to see in our communities. Judith Martin stated that “blatant greed” is the most serious etiquette problem in the United States. Keeping that in mind we can look at the seven listed things that bring disgust and repulsion in the seven things listed in Proverbs chapter 6.

A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Proverbs 6:17-19

A Proud look is the first on the list because it is a person who lifts himself up above others. It is all about “Me,” and no one else manners. Second on the list is a lying tongue. The tongue always gets us in trouble for saying something we should not have said. It is why James said in chapter 3, “the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” It is more than a slip of the tongue because it is what we are feeling within our heart. Many of us need healing of past hurts that someone caused. Someone who is offended can lead to the shedding of innocent blood. It can be a proud look, or something that was said that ignites like a dynamite and someone gets shot. The hands that shed innocent blood is happening all over the world. Sometimes we do not even know that what we do can cause violent outburst.

Beware of the heart that plans to harm someone and brings in others to do his or hers bidding. You do not need to be a puppet on someone else string to pull you into mischief. Learn to say no and turn away from getting involved in any plan that harms an individual or an animal. We tend to forget that God created animals for our benefit. We are to be good stewards of our pets and animals.

Then there is the false witness that is lying. They can be so nice to your face but stab you in your back by giving a false witness about you. This happens so often in churches as well as everywhere else like where you work and even among your friends. They do it in fun, but the fun turns into outrage. That is why the Bible tells us to build one another up and not to tear one another down. Do not be mischievous in what you are doing with others. Remember the saying, “what comes around goes around.” Eventually one will have to face the consequences for their actions.

The last thing is sowing discord among the members of a congregation is no way to behave. There should be no animosity, contention, or controversy among the people of God, and if there is, let us strive for peaceful resolution. Any animosity or grievances should be dealt with immediately between the individuals that are having the issue. We are to go to the person that has violated decent social boundaries and speak to them about it.

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Matthew 18:15-16

If that person does not listen, then the next step is to bring in witnesses. Hopefully, one will listen, so other witnesses will not have to be brought in. We are saved by Grace and there is liberty where the Spirit of the Lord is [see 2 Corinthians 3:17]. Do not use that liberty as a stumbling block against those who are weak [ see 1 Corinthians 8:9]. Ask God to help cleanse your heart and mind from all false witness, lies, and mischievous deeds. Ask God to forgive you and help you to forgive the other person too. Ask God for reconciliation. Allow God’s love to rule your heart again in the liberty that we have in Christ Jesus.