Monthly Archives: July 2008

Responsibility to God

This commentary is taken from Ephesians chapter 4.

We are told to live a life that is worthy of God’s call upon us. Every person who receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior has the privilege of knowing beyond all doubt that God has a specific-to-you purpose and plan for you life. He will tell you what the plan is, enable you to carry it out, and walk with you in the step by step lifelong process of doing so. Nothing is ever left to chance with God!

We learn in God’s Word that the Plan begins with definite commandments from him. The first and greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and the second greatest command is to love your neighbor as yourself.

By obeying these commands, which, by the way, God helps you to do, you demonstrate that you are responsible to God. His claim on you comes before any person, place, or thing.  As you love God, you will seek him out more and more for his help. This brings the fruits of his Holy Spirit more and more into your daily life. You will bear witness of his fruit by showing things like patience, peace, gentleness, and love in your actions. Pleasing God will be prevalent in your thoughts. You will know that his way is the best way.

Keep in mind that Christ is your ruler. His authority over you is supreme. He will let you know exactly who your human authorities are. He may cause you to be someone else’s authority, and this task is only successful when you submit it to the Lord’s authority. You are working toward a mature, Spirit-filled life where you know what God wants, and you do it. As you receive gifts from God to do the work he made you to do, and grow in asking him back how to use the gifts, you will be demonstrating God’s love and power to other people. You will automatically be bringing people together in faith and unity. You don’t need to think up things to “make” people understand God. As you do the special work God made for you, it helps others learn about God. So when you do your work, do it for Christ. Do it from love for him. It is his responsibility to use your obedience in other peoples’ lives. Go ahead and test this! Seek the Lord and what pleases him. See how other people resond. They will respond to you . . . and you will know they are responding to the Lord in you . . . and you will be thankful and filled with joy. It’s a promise.

In God’s strength, not ours, let his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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Living Power

Where does one find living power that cannot be overcome? God’s Word.

Hebrews 4:12-13 explains:  The Word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.

It’s absolutely pointless to try to hide anything from God. You know that, if you will be still for a few moments and know that he is God.

These blog posts have not been personal up to this point, but let me say now that I would certainly rather be exposed by God’s Word now and walk through life with nothing to hide rather than have no good thing from my life going into eternity with me. If I try to hide from him now, then I am nothing but a rotten deceiver – mostly deceiving myself.My life is useless.

To walk in openness is to walk in love; the imeasurable love of God. It means having heavenly treasure in this earthen vessel, far more precious than the treasures of the world that can be used up or lost. It means always having something to give, and the supply never runs out.

Are you live streaming with God today? Can other people see him through you? Get in God’s Word and get exposed!

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Be Confident

Do you keep changing your mind about some things so that it is almost impossible to make a timely decision about anything? God calls this double-mindedness and says it makes you unstable in all your ways. Ultimately, you will fall into ungodly peoples’ decisions and plans, and you will not have a say in what your own part in those plans will be. Trapped.

That is a very dangerous way to live your life. Certainly it does not give you any satisfaction or sense of accomplishment. You need to be totally settled on what you believe, so that nothing and no one can shake you loose.

Increasing you knowledge of God’s Son, Jesus Christ is the way to get settled once and for all. You learn of him by reading and studying God’s Word, the Bible. God has revealed himself to us in the 66 books of the Bible. Each time you read, pray first and ask God to give you clear understanding of what you are reading. This prayer is guaranteed for a yes answer – if your mind is distracted or clouded, persevere. God will answer. In Ephesians chapter 4, we are told to hold to the truth in love, becoming more like Christ. Hold to the truth – hold to God’s Word. His Word is truth. Hold to it in love. While you grow in your understanding of what is written, you will grow in your love for God as he reveals himself to you.

Do you want to know God better? Follow a simple, simple rule. Read his Word more and pray.

If a plant has good soil,sun, and water, it will grow. If it has rocks and deep shade and no water, it shrivels up and never grows to maturity or to fulfill the purpose for which it was created. Likewise, Christians need specific things to grow in confidence in who we are and what we are supposed to do. When we read and study God’s Word, we become rooted and grounded in what we believe. We have confidence and know right from wrong. We make decisions that please God. Life becomes straightforward and our way unshakable.

It is stressful to offend ungodly people, but it is sin to offend God. Where will you take your stand today? Stand on God’s Word. He is watching over you. You will have more peace and less confusion, no matter what those other people say or do. God’s Word springs the trap. It’s a promise.

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Agree With God

If you will go find your Holy Bible, dust it off, and read the book of Romans in the New Testament section, you will come to a statement that says ALL have sinned and missed God’s glory. That means every person falls short. Only One Person ever lived perfect on earth, and that is Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. He never lied, never had stinkin’ thinkin’ against God, never rationalized anything – that is something to imagine, isn’t it?

Well, Jesus, perfect Man and Son of God made it possible for us to do more than imagine what it is like to be holy and often even go long periods of time without obvious sin. When you have faith that Jesus has done this by dying on a cross as perfect sacrifice for our sin, you can express your faith to him and ask forgiveness. He always forgives the one who comes to him in faith that he will save you.

There is something God wants you to do – agree with him that you are a sinner, that is, that you have done wrong things that God does not want you to do. This agreement is called “confession.” You don’t need a human person living on earth now to confess to. You only need to tell God himself. Tell him that you believe him about your wrongdoing, and that you are turning away from that life now. Turning away from sin is called “repentance.” God will give you a brand new life in Christ Jesus so that you CAN totally turn away.

Think about this – people don’t really like themselves much. Always trying to measure up to something that turns out to be a phantom. Our culture tells us that truth is relative to experience, which isn’t true, and impossible to live with because we need a definite code to live by. Not multiple codes that keep changing. With God, you only have to change your mind once, and that is to ask him to change your heart so you can know what real truth is, and have a new life. Your new life is in Christ, who is the One  Way, the Truth, and the Life. Follow him. He’ll show the right way to go all the time, and it will be good! He loves you, and by soaking in his love, you will come to love yourself, and that will in turn flow out of you to other people. You have friends and family who are as confused as you are. When you know Jesus for real, you can help others find him, too. And that’s the best joy in your new life of all.

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Be Thankful to God

Be thankful to God that he is so great and awesome and undeniable that no one can possibly mistake him for anyone but who he is.

Search for him and you will find him. His glory shines everywhere.

Jesus walking on the earth was not just a charismatic teacher and healer. He shone so high above everyone else that he had to be the Son of God. Period. End of subject. You know this; now go read about him in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible, recognizing the truth about him.

Focus on Jesus, risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us who are wandering yet on earth – yes, we must trust him. He is too great not to be trusted totally.

Someday, we who trust him will be with him. He promises this, too, that we shall share his glory! Of course we will, because if we are with God, his glory is everywhere he is. You won’t be able to get out of it! Amazing.

Afraid of being consumed? Why? God knows you better than you know yourself, and he has better plans for you than you have for yourself. Put your life in his hands and see the glory shining today.

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The Right Path to Travel

Are you a Christian but still confused about what God wants you to do?

This is what he says through King David in Psalm 19:8 – “The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life.” NLT

All through the Bible, God’s commandments are written down for us to study and meditate and get worked into our hearts and minds so that we apply them. The most important commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and the second most important is to love your neighbor as yourself. The Spirit of God helps us do these things, so that we know they are RIGHT, and when we do them, WE HAVE JOY IN OUR HEARTS. When that joy wells up, you can just stop right there and praise the Lord that you are obeying him.

Then there are individual circumstances in life that require specific direction from God so we don’t get out of his will into joylessness. Then we need to get quiet and ask him to command us. He promises that his commands are clear, giving insight to life.

Glory to God! Never stumble around or hide behind walls again, wondering. God makes everything bright so we can walk upright. He directs our paths.

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Because We Fear God

Almighty God, the Creator of all things, deserves our reverence and obedience. Did he not make us? Did he not make this beautiful Earth? When you look up, up, up into a clear night starry sky, can you doubt that there is One God, Creator of All Things? How could the universe hold together without a power greater than any human mind can understand? It has to be God. There is no other answer.

So we must fear God. His almighty power is fearsome. His love is also great and mighty and fearsome. God is Love.

Please listen to what God has done for us. He has made a way to be our companion and friend and to show us his love, and to give us the measure of his power we need to love others. Truly loving others in the power of God is what makes us more like him. This comes about through our believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

We love because he first loved us. We can open our hearts to all people when the love of Christ lives in us and the life of Christ is lived through us.

These are not high falutin’ words. These words are based on God’s Word, the Holy Bible, which you can read and believe for yourself. God’s Word is absolute truth. It loses nothing in translation, as modernists will argue. God is God. He has absolute power. He can protect his Word. He says it is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting deep into your physical life to reveal the spiritual life within. What is in your heart? What does the Word of God reveal? Is Christ living there unashamedly so all is well?

Let us work toward complete purity because we fear God. (2 Corinthians 7:1b)

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Dominion and Surrender

God has said most specifically that it is mankind’s work and privilege to care for the earth and all created things. To plant and water and harvest good food, and to care for the animals, especially. This dominion is for our benefit.

However, there is a war going on over the earth that we cannot see. There is satan, a fallen angel, and his host of demons who oppose the will of God, and satan’s place of opposition is the earth. He is known also as the prince of power of the air. A spiritual being working constantly against man to keep all men and women and children from knowing God’s love and grace if he can. Satan is the father of lies. If he can distract you from God, he will, making it very, very hard for man to take care of creation and live from its fruit. One of satan’s big lies is distracting us so much we forget what we are even up against and give in to despair.

IS it possible, then to obey God when this powerful enemy is waging a war we cannot even see?

Yes. It is totally possible. God has provided for his children to know that we know we have the ultimate weapon against the enemies of God. We have the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Call upon his Name and receive everything you need for life and godliness.

The Way God has made to obey him is Jesus Christ.

Today, put away your to-do list and tell the Lord every little thing and ask for his help. You will know you are fully surrendered when the distractions fade, your thinking clears up, and the peace that passes understanding wells up in you.

Need a place to begin? Psalm 8, then Romans 12:1-2. When you turn to God and give everything back to him, especially what he has already given to you, that is worship, and that is where every victory is.

Be faithful to Christ and press on.

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Devotion to God

Have you heard the phrase, “daily devotional,” with reference to Christian living? Generally this phrase refers to a part of any day set aside for reading God’s Word, the Holy Bible, and praying to God. Often, it is in the morning because then the whole day balances on that point of focus.

Here is a question for you today: when you spend time devoted to God, are you focusing on him, or on the exercise of being devoted? The way to know God is by believing in Jesus Christ who is God incarnate; that is, he came to earth to die on a cross for your sin, that you are reconciled to God. After Christ died, he rose from the dead, and then ascended into heaven; some day he is coming back, too. Have you told God you believe this? He wants to hear you say it.

The next step is to learn from God by reading his Word, the Holy Bible.  It isn’t just another book. It is what God says, and you can trust both God and his word totally.  You already know you can’t trust people. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by me.” You can learn of God from his written word. In the Gospel of John we are told that Jesus Christ IS the Word made flesh and dwelt among us.

Published Christian readings or devotionals that you buy at a bookstore, or find on line, or listen to through other media may be helpful, but here is a rule of thumb about using them: does what you are reading or hearing point you to focus on Jesus Christ, on God himself? This is what God wants. If you are not pointed to him directly, then you are not getting to know him better. Just like getting to know a new friend. You can’t know that person by listening to what other people say about him or her. You have to interact personally. The Bible is God speaking personally to you.

Where do you get to know God first and best? Through Jesus Christ, through the Holy Bible, and then by speaking with him in your most private being. Most people call this you “inner chamber.” You can always meet the Lord there. If you are distracted or have difficulty meeting him, ask him to reveal himself. To each believer is given the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of God, and he lives right there inside of you to teach and help you with all things. He is praying for you and with you right now to understand these things.

When you know God, you will want to please him. Here is one way to begin: Meet him this hour in the inner chamber, and read some of his Word back to him. Let him know you are interested in knowing him better today. He will definitely make it happen. Pay attention!

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The Ant and the Foolish Women

Once upon a time there was an ant who believed the only thing it knew how to do well was work. It toiled from early morning until late at night to bring food to the anthill, storing it up for the colony. The ant was totally diligent and focused on this task, not looking aside to see what was going on anywhere but in its chosen path. Fortunately for this, the ant lived under a large picnic table in a national park, so food to gather was plentiful.

All the time the ant was shuffling crumbs to the anthill, a large group of foolish women was gathering in a nearby parking lot. They planned to use the ants’ sheltering picnic table, and they HATED ANTS. No one knows why they hated these harmless, hardworking insects. Their hatred was reasonless and pointless; very prejudicial and unjust. They did not fear the ants, which might have offered some excuse.

Well, the women gathered and the ant continued to toil. Finally it noticed the deep shadows gathering above and around the table. It tried to hurry faster in its work. No point in trying to see what the shadows really were – too much work to do. In fact, the ant felt threatened but didn’t understand why. It just kept going, doing its thing, until . . .

What do you think happened to the ant.

Have you ever focused so intently on one path that you completely missed what was going on around you? When danger threatens, do you miss it’s advance until too late to avoid it?

Here is what God says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5&6.

The ant could have looked up when it felt threatened. That feeling was it’s creator, the Lord God, warning it of danger. Looking up, the danger would have been seen, and safety sought and received by looking all the way to God.

We should always look to God, in trouble or in the daily work. He has provided a Rock for our refuge from anything that would crush us. The Rock is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Look to Him now and ask him to save you.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son (Jesus), that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

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