"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." Colossians 3:17, KJV

Praise the Lord

Welcome to In His Name, a devotional site where the Word of God is posted and explored. This site embraces the love of Jesus Christ, encouraging Bible study.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Weeping May Endure for a Night...

But joy comes in the morning...

Psalm 30
1I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
2O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
3O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
5For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
6And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
7LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
8I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.
9What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
10Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.
11Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
12To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bold in the Truth

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;” 2 Timothy 2:15-17, KJV.

Isn’t it amazing how many non-believers are allowed, even prompted, to say whatever derogatory things their hearts so desire and Christians are expected to remain quiet? How disheartening it is to turn on the television to watch an old show and when commercials pop up, they totally disrupt your spirit. One could be viewing a documentary and the next minute here comes a commercial that drops profanity like it’s the natural thing to do. Well, I guess it is natural in this world.

It appears that the further we go along, year to year, decade to decade, it becomes progressively worse. It has become the norm to not only use profanity, but to use God’s name in vain. It is because many don’t truly believe that God will do what He said He’ll do. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain,” Exodus 20:7. But many are ready to fight if another profanes the name of their mother or father. Why aren’t many who are professed Christians just as angered, or even moreso, when our heavenly Father’s name is degraded?

As we share God’s Word, we are to not be ashamed. Those of us who rightly divide the Word of truth, studying to show ourselves approved, must be bold. If we’re not bold or feel that we don’t have it in us to speak up ask God to develop it in you. Not everyone is outspoken although we may have a burning desire to serve Christ. Those of us who are shy, I implore you to ask God for it—I did. He is there to provide our needs. No good thing will God withhold. Many of us have not because we ask not. Ask and you shall receive according to His will. And this is definitely in God’s will because Jesus instructs us to share the Gospel with all.

There are many who are bold in unrighteousness that could care less about Christ and Christians. But Jesus warned us of these things. Jesus knew that we would have trials and tribulations. He knew that we would face adversity, but He equipped us. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword,” Matthew 10:34. Jesus is peace and the sword is the Word of truth. He came to send a sword because He knew we would have to fight.

Put on your armor and be prepared to fight, remembering that we fight not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. Despite those wiles of the devil, there is victory in Jesus!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Controversy over the Sabbath (revisited)

It is interesting that many view Christians who go to church on Sunday as Sabbath breakers, although our Sabbath is Christ. We are to rest in the finished work completed on the Cross. While many acknowledge the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, has it truly been accepted?

We must be careful not to fall into legalism, merely observing a set of rules to be saved because works do not save us—Christ does. We do works because we ARE saved. We no longer have a desire to sin, although we’re not sinless. As Christians we place our trust and faith in Christ, not in our ability to keep this rule or that law. This does not mean that we run around shouting, “God knows my heart!” using this as some sort of escape clause to obeying His commands, rather understanding that God examines our motives to see if they are pure. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God,” Matthew 5:8. Are we truly seeking His kingdom and His righteousness? Are we truly loving one another and obeying His commands?

This point here, obeying His commands, takes us back to the fourth commandment where so many question our purpose for worshipping collectively on Sunday versus Saturday. Many view this as not obeying His commands. Well, even Jesus was questioned about His actions on the “Sabbath” (Matthew 12:3-8). But what many fail to realize is that Jesus came to fulfill the Law. His IS the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8). “For while the Law was given through Moses, grace ([a]unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ,(A)” John 1:17, AMP.

And that through Him everyone who believes [who [a]acknowledges Jesus as his Savior and devotes himself to Him] is absolved (cleared and freed) from every charge from which he could not be justified and freed by the Law of Moses and given right standing with God,” Acts 13:39, AMP.

As we rest in Christ, we open ourselves up to be led by the Holy Spirit. “When Gentiles who have not the [divine] Law do instinctively what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, since they do not have the Law. They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts and are operating there, with which their consciences (sense of right and wrong) also bear witness; and their [moral] [e]decisions (their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving [f]thoughts) will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse [them],” Romans 2:14-15, AMP.

There were hundreds of laws and commandments written in the Old Testament where yearly sins had to be atoned for, but there came One who made the ultimate sacrifice where those others were no longer needed.

Rest in the finished work on the Cross and be led by the Holy Spirit. He will never lead you astray.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hated Without Cause

Ever been hated for no apparent reason? Refer to this Psalm of David, keeping in mind that the world hated Jesus before it hated you. And as you represent Jesus, the world will hate you for it. Turn to the Lord, no other help I know. 
Psalm 35
1Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. 2Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. 3Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. 4Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. 5Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them. 6Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them. 7For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul. 8Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. 9And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. 10All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? 11False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. 12They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. 13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. 14I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. 15But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: 16With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth. 17Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions. 18I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. 19Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. 20For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land. 21Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it. 22This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me. 23Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord. 24Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me. 25Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up. 26Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me. 27Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. 28And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

God’s Will Be Done

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” Matthew 6:9-10, NKJV.

There are times in our lives when we don’t understand why God allow certain things to occur. There are also times when we may have sick family members and we pray for them to get healed, and they don’t. Have we ever considered that death is the best healing? Of course, this is for those who die in Christ.

In the model prayer that Jesus, our Lord and Savior, set forth for us to pattern our prayers after, He instructed us to pray in this manner, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When we reach a level of spiritual maturity, as Christians we begin to understand that God is sovereign. And although we may not like everything that goes on in our lives, we must trust Him that He knows what He is doing. There may be a mother on her death bed whom a child doesn’t want to let go, but they belong to God … we all do. Even within ourselves, we may be facing a terrible situation where we see no way out, but God is The WAY. As Jesus stated, He is the door. “Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep,’” John 10:7, NKJV.

There is nothing too hard for God. In recognizing this, allow the peace of God (the peace that passes all understanding: Phil 4:7) to rest upon your hearts, praying that His will be done just as Jesus prayed. “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will,’” Matthew 26:39, NKJV.

Are you facing a difficult situation, lacking the understanding of why it’s happening? It is not for us to know the answer to everything. God’s ways are not our ways nor are His thoughts our thoughts. We must cast our cares upon Him for He cares for us.

Pray for God’s will to be done. It produces the best outcome no matter the situation.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Secret Place

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust,” Psalm 91:1-2, NKJV.

Focal Scripture: Psalm 91

This Psalm speaks directly to those who trust in the Lord. And I believe it also speaks to those who need to trust in the Lord; those who may have been searching for a way out of their situations and circumstances, but too afraid to admit that they need help.

Psalm 91 opens with an affirmation of faith: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The word dwells means to live in, reside in, or stay in. It describes a place that you would rest in, a place that is synonymous with home. And for the writer to go directly from dwell to secret place prompts the reader to think of a place of safety, especially when the word refuge and fortress is used to describe God. My husband was in the military twenty years of his life and I’m sure there have been times when either he or fellow soldiers had to retreat to military bunkers or bomb shelters. Those shelters or bunkers provided safety from the outside chaos. This is what it is like when resting in God.

This particular Psalm goes on to describe how God is worthy to be trusted. There are references made of how He delivers and protects: “Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a] and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday,” verses 3-6.

The way God protects is not true with any other being. God is the only One who can deliver and protect the way that He does. As human beings we may have good intentions, but our strength is limited. God is omnipotent. There may be times when we want to help a family member or friend out of a bind, but cannot. God is there, the ever present help, in our times of need. “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone,” verses 11-12. God provides us with guardian angels.

We must be mindful that this protection does not apply to everyone. This protection comes because we acknowledge His name. He places His protection over us because we place our trust in Him—not a job, spouses, or parents.

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name,” verse 14.

Acknowledge God no matter where you are or who you may be around. He is not to just be tucked away whenever we think we need Him, but to be reverenced at ALL times. We trust Him to deliver us from our troubles. Can He trust us to acknowledge Him?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

God is The Source

From the beginning of time, God has been making provisions for the inhabitants of Earth. Even before we were ever created, God made sure that we had everything that we’d ever need which was all in Him. He created the heaven and the earth. He spoke into existence light in which we are able to see. He placed food in the sea and herbs upon the earth for us to eat. So why do we worry about what we think we don’t have?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Matthew 6:28-30, KJV.

Just pray and trust God… Often, this is much easier said than done. What makes it difficult or challenging? Well, when in the midst of holding a child that may be dying in your arms—that could make it challenging. Or when hungry and there’s no food in the house or money in your pockets—that could make it challenging. But God said His word would not return unto Him void, that it will accomplish that thing in which He sent it to do (Isaiah 55:11). Why does faith shrink in times like these? God tells us to take no thought, wondering, what we will eat, drink or be clothed. He knows that we need these things. So, He instructs us to seek His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these other things will be given to us.

Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that our spouses, jobs, or government checks are our source. Those are just resources that God uses to get to us what He already knows that we need. Let us remember, God has been making provisions for us ever since the beginning of time.

God is The Source.

Recommended Reading: Genesis 1, Matthew 6:25-34

Monday, November 8, 2010


For we walk by faith [we [a]regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance,” 2 Corinthians 5:7, AMP.

Things may not always look like what God has promised, but if you could see it, that’s not faith. We may go through trials and tribulations, but that does not mean that God has forgotten about us. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy,” 1 Peter 4:12-13, KJV. It is important to stand on the word of God and not the word of man. Man will have you going in so many directions that they themselves may not even follow, but our loyalty is to be to God.

God has clearly spoken into my spirit today that I am to have faith in Him, no matter what others may say. I am to have faith in Him regardless of the opinions of others. I am to have faith in Him, casting my cares upon Him for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). I thank God that He looks at the heart, extending unmerited favor upon our lives—His grace. I thank God that He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that we can have everlasting life—Salvation. I thank God for His Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth—Revelation. I thank God for being God—Awesome above all things.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hunger for His Presence

Earlier this year, the passage of Psalm 63 was posted. Today, I look at this same division of Psalm, keying in on verses 1 and 2: “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.”

As noted in the book of 1 Samuel, David was constantly at battle. It seemed a normal occasion for him to not only be fighting, but also persistently seeking God for guidance. As I read 1 Samuel 30, the sixth verse jumped out at me, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”

In the midst of turmoil, David encouraged himself in the Lord. He didn’t focus on the problem, rather on the One who is able to solve the problem. In Psalm 63, David makes it abundantly clear where our focus should be (as do our Lord and Savior makes clear throughout the Gospels in the New Testament). It should be on God. God provides all that we’ll ever need. Retribution should not be our center of attention when someone wrongs us, “…for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” Romans 12:19, NKJV.

We are to encourage ourselves in the Lord, our God, the One true and living God. We are to have a sincere longing for His presence. Sometimes I feel as if my words can’t express the gratitude I have for how God loves us so, but in essence that’s normal. If I had ten thousand tongues, I couldn’t thank Him enough. God’s continued grace and mercy deserves continued honor and praise! He is excellent, wonderful, majestic, and WORTHY to be praised.

Seeking a sincere relationship with Lord blesses a person beyond measure. When in the presence of the Lord, nothing else matter because you have all that you’ll ever need.

Monday, October 25, 2010

God's Anointed

Focal Scripture: 1 Samuel 24

Let the LORD judge between you and me, and let the LORD avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand shall not be against you. After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? Therefore let the LORD be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand.” So it was, when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept,” 1 Samuel 24:12-16, NKJV.

Saul sought David’s life even though David had done no wrong to him. The Lord told David that He would deliver his enemy into his hands—and God did indeed deliver Saul into David’s hand. David could have taken Saul’s life (just as Saul had wanted to take from him), but David’s heart (smote) struck him unto compassion and mercy to not do so to Saul. Saul was God’s anointed. Although Saul had been consumed by jealousy (of David’s success on the battlefield) and had evil spirits come upon him, he was still chosen by God, at the peoples’ pleas, to be king.

Look, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed,’” 1 Samuel 24:10.

God will bring justice. Even though some leaders may be acting outside of God’s will—let the Lord handle it. David let Saul go, but God’s word was still true. He still delivered Saul into his hand, but compassion overtook David—that God forbade him to take Saul’s life.

David was revealed to Saul. Upon realizing that it was indeed David who could have taken his life that very day, Saul wept saying that David was more righteous than him. “…for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil,” verse 17. This very act of compassion invoked humbleness in Saul for he also stated in verse 20, “And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.” This came after multiple times of Saul seeking to kill David because of God’s favor on David’s life.

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[a] that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust,” Matthew 5:44-45, NKJV.

Let us overcome evil with good.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Steadfast in the Faith

Scripture Focus: 1 Timothy 4:1-7, KJV

1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
7But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
Many make up things about the Word of God that is not scriptural. Don’t follow old wives’ tales. We must study the Word for ourselves, so that we may be spiritually edified.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached

Philippians 1:11-19, KJV
11Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
12But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
13So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
14And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
18What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
19For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
The apostle was a prisoner at Rome; and to take off the offence of the cross, he shows the wisdom and goodness of God in his sufferings. These things made him known, where he would never have otherwise been known; and led some to inquire after the gospel. He suffered from false friends, as well as from enemies. How wretched the temper of those who preached Christ out of envy and contention, and to add affliction to the bonds that oppressed this best [righteous Christ follower] of men ...

Since our troubles may tend to the good of many, we ought to rejoice. Whatever turns to our salvation, is by the Spirit of Christ; and prayer is the appointed means of seeking for it. Our earnest expectation and hope should not be to be honored of men, or to escape the cross, but to be upheld amidst temptation, contempt, and affliction. Let us leave it to Christ, which way he will make us serviceable to his glory, whether by labor or suffering, by diligence or patience, by living to his honor in working for him, or dying to his honor in suffering for him.
About this commentary: Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Justification Alone, Through Faith in Jesus Christ

"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain," Galatian 3:1-4, KJV.

"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed," Galatians 3:8, KJV.

"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them," Galatians 3:11-12, KJV.

The Galatians reproved for departing from the great doctrine of justification alone, through faith in Christ.

Several things made the folly of the Galatian Christians worse. They had the doctrine of the cross preached, and the Lord's supper administered among them, in both which Christ crucified, and the nature of his sufferings, had been fully and clearly set forth. Had they been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, by the ministration of the law, or on account of any works done by them in obedience thereto? Was it not by their hearing and embracing the doctrine of faith in Christ alone for justification? Which of these had God owned with tokens of his favour and acceptance? It was not by the first, but the last. And those must be very unwise, who suffer themselves to be turned away from the ministry and doctrine which have been blessed to their spiritual advantage. Alas, that men should turn from the all-important doctrine of Christ crucified, to listen to useless distinctions, mere moral preaching, or wild fancies! The god of this world, by various men and means, has blinded men's eyes, lest they should learn to trust in a crucified Saviour. We may boldly demand where the fruits of the Holy Spirit are most evidently brought forth? whether among those who preach justification by the works of the law, or those who preach the doctrine of faith? Assuredly among the latter.

About this commentary:
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

~We are saved by grace, not by works. We do works because we ARE saved, not to BECOME saved. Jesus Christ is enough. We must accept Him as Lord AND Savior with a desire to do His will. He said if we love Him, we'll keep His commandments, for He came not to do away with the law, but to complete it. ~

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Truth Shall Make You Free

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth,” 1 John 3:16-18, KJV.

The word love is a verb, it has action. It is not merely something we say or something we read on a piece of paper, rather something that we do. The Bible states that we are to love in deed and in truth. We ought not to be pretenders when we say “I have the love of Christ in me.” Having the love of Christ is to declare and display His truth and His character.

Love is often misinterpreted. Some view lust as love, but that is not love. 1 Corinthians 13 spells out exactly what love is. It is kind, humble, not easily provoked, and thinks no evil amongst other things. Who is the epitome of love? God is the epitome of love, God is love.

Over the past couple of years, I have aimed to show my love by telling others the truth behind sororities and fraternities. To share how Christians are taking oaths in unity with unbelievers. To actually call another person a brother or sister and the organization is okay with them belonging to any faith other than through Christ is not what God has called us to do. Jesus stated that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father except by Him (John 14:6). He also stated that if we love Him, we will obey His commandments (John 14:15). He commands us to not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14).

It is not my aim to alienate another brother or sister in Christ or to even turn away a potential Christian by this message. It is my motive, however, to tell the truth. There are moments that present challenges in doing so by backlash and condemnation, but I’m reminded by the Holy Spirit that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. He commands us to love. We are to love one another enough to tell each other the truth.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” John 8:32, KJV.

Monday, September 20, 2010

He Wants It All

For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place,” 1 Chronicles 16:25-27, KJV.

The song by Forever Jones entitled “He Wants it All” is a shining example of how we are to live for God. It is so simple, yet many make the message of salvation so complicated. Once a person grasps the message of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” it becomes so much easier to give back to the Lord whatever He wants … which basically is all of you, all of me. He wants it all.

Consider what the Lord does for us from day to day. Many of us are blessed with the use of our limbs, our voices, our hearing, and our sight. How are we using those things that the Lord has given us? We can raise our hands up at a ball game, but not in reverence to God? We can speak gossip, but not of the goodness of the Lord? We can look at degrading videos and/or flicks, but not at a documentary, sermon, or message about Jesus Christ? If we put other things before God, where is the priority? If God isn’t first, then you are serving an idol.

Here is a clip of the song “He Wants It All,” please pay close attention to the words.

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen,” 1 John 5:20-21, KJV.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Trust in the Lord

It’s inevitable that man will fail you (whether by accident or on purpose), but through God all things are possible. He is the only constant in life that’s guaranteed to have our best interest at heart.

The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). That’s the enemy’s primary focus. His fate is sealed and he does not care anything about us. In fact, I think he hates us. The slick, smooth tongue he used to convince the heavenly angels he has no problem using on us. Take note of their eternal home (Matthew 25:41).

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8, KJV. Again, the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. This is not limited to the financial areas in our lives; he ultimately wants to steal our faith in God. The enemy may begin with something small (sometimes the things we consider big) to ensnare us; but in reality the small things are money, careers, etc. Now, I am not saying that these things are unimportant, that is not my stance at all, what I am saying is that they are small compared to the big picture: Faith and trust in the Almighty God. The devil has a way of using those things we care about to manipulate us into turning against God. Some have even committed suicide over a job, a living situation, and even another person.

Meditate on what Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it,” Matthew 10:34-39, KJV. If the enemy can get you to turn against God— he’s got you. Keep your faith! Fight the good fight of faith until the end, no matter what (1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:7).

Also, remember that this can be a test that turns into a testimony; if you have destruction or separation that falls upon the family, remember that you always have Jesus, you always have God. He will never leave us nor forsake us. “But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God,’” Psalm 31:14, NKJV. Remember; trust in the Lord, not your circumstance.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Not the Norm

If the world hates you, know that it hated Jesus first...
John 15:16-27 (Amplified Bible)

16You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as [a]presenting all that I AM], He may give it to you.
17This is what I command you: that you love one another.
18If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.
19If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.
20Remember that I told you, A servant is not greater than his master [is not superior to him]. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they will also keep and obey yours.
21But they will do all this to you [inflict all this suffering on you] because of [your bearing] My name and on My account, for they do not know or understand the One Who sent Me.
22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin [would be blameless]; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
23Whoever hates Me also hates My Father.
24If I had not done (accomplished) among them the works which no one else ever did, they would not be guilty of sin. But [the fact is] now they have both seen [these works] and have hated both Me and My Father.
25But [this is so] that the word written in their Law might be fulfilled, They hated Me without a cause.(A)
26But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me.
27But you also will testify and be My witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
As Christians, true Christians, we must know that we are not the norm. "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.," 1 Corinthians 2:14, NKJV.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Lifestyle

God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). I love God for being Who He is. The Lord teaches us what love is and that we are to show that same love to others. He is love. When considering some of the things that go on in this world, do many of us display that same love Christ teaches?

It is not loving to put someone down because of their past nor is it godly to bring it up at every opportunity. From what I’ve heard many say to me, this is why they stay away from the church. Years ago, I remember someone sharing a testimony about a woman who used to be on the streets (by way of stripping or prostitution). She went to church with a mind to change from her old ways, but was met with much ridicule. It wasn’t necessarily what others said verbally to her, but their body language spoke volumes. I thought the church was where all of the sin-sick people gathered… to leave our burdens at the altar; to give it all to Christ. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Matthew 11:28-30, KJV.

How sad it is for someone who has been in the church for years to degrade another who just came off of the streets from drug-dealing or abusing, pimping, prostitution, stealing, or even murder. What if someone took a rap sheet of the things we’ve done in this body that was in our past? The only difference is that they got caught doing what they were doing. “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:3. The past is the past and as we share testimonies or stories that will help those in these situations come to Christ (because as Christians we are living testimonies) it will help us to understand their struggle. Are we so removed from sin that we have become insensitive to their plight? Are we “holier than thou” because we’ve been out of the “lifestyle” so long? I thought we are called to be evangelists…preachers as Christ puts it. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark 16:15. We are to proclaim the Gospel. This is not preacher in the sense of standing in a pulpit every Sunday, but preacher in a sense of telling those out in the world.

Back to the story about the young woman who had previously been in the streets, I learned that she decided to go back to the streets. It was noted that since people always looked at her strangely (seeing her past and not someone who was hurting and crying out for help) she decided to return to what people “in the church” saw her as. The Holy Spirit reminds me of the woman caught in the act of committing adultery and how the people were ready to stone her to death. Now, if Jesus can have compassion on someone who was actively in sin, should we at the very least show that same compassion for someone who had done it last month, last week,… or even last night?

I thank God that He is not like man. I know that I have my faults and that I don’t do everything perfectly, but God said, “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see [Him] God,” Matthew 5:8. And I know my motives are pure. I have a heart to help others and share with them what I’ve learned. Just as noted in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29… Let every man examine himself. I ask the Lord right now in the name of Jesus to cleanse me of all unrighteousness, for as we live in this flesh we are subject to temptations, but that does not mean that we have to embrace it as a lifestyle. I'm liberated as I know ...  I’ve gotten out of “the lifestyle.”

Monday, August 23, 2010

Taste and See God's Goodness

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him,” Psalm 34:8, KJV.

David praises God, and encourages to trust him.

If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them. When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things needful thereunto do so also.

This poor man, whom no man looked upon with any respect, or looked after with any concern, was yet welcome to the throne of grace; the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The holy angels minister to the saints, and stand for them against the powers of darkness. All the glory be to the Lord of the angels. By taste and sight we both make discoveries, and have enjoyment; Taste and see God's goodness; take notice of it, and take the comfort of it. He makes all truly blessed that trust in Him ... they shall have grace sufficient for the support of spiritual life. And as to this life, they shall have what is necessary from the hand of God. Paul had all, and abounded, because he was content, Php 4:11 to 18. Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the Lord. Those shall not want, who with quietness work and mind their own business. (Ps 34:11-22)

About this commentary:
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Praise God, even in Adversity

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities,” Psalm 31:7, KJV.

There are times in life when tears fall, brokenness comes, and lack of understanding abounds, but praise God. There may be issues of infidelity, betrayal, and deceitfulness swarming, but praise God. It doesn’t matter what you may be going through, still praise God.

Not too long ago, I awoke one morning not knowing what to pray. My spirit felt so burdened down, so heavy that all I could say to the Lord in that moment was that I don’t know what to pray. God led me to Psalm 150. That particular Psalm is all about praising Him. I heard in my spirit God saying, “When you don’t know what to pray, praise Me.” It helped me to understand that the Holy Spirit intercedes on my behalf as stated in Romans 8: 26-27: “So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.”

Being mindful that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. His mission has not changed; the intensity to do so, I believe, becomes even stronger when a person gets saved. The devil’s fate is sealed; he wants nothing but to deceive people into thinking God’s word isn’t true. We must submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee (James 4:7). So when difficult times arise, continue to thank God for who He is.

Jesus instructed that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). Proverbs 4:23 (AMP) states “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” We want peace, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee,” Isaiah 26:3, KJV. The soul, our inner being, the part that will go on to be with Christ forever stems from our decision to choose life and not death; to surrender all to the Lord. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God,” Romans 13:1, KJV.

Our circumstances ought not to define us. There will be trials and tribulations in this life, but God is always there for us, ready to meet our needs. Praise Him in all things, for He is worthy to be praised.

Additional Reference: Psalm 96:4

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Lord Hears My Prayers

I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears,” Psalm 34:4, KJV.

As I ponder on a recent sermon given at a church I’m currently attending, I thank God for hearing my prayers. I thank God for confirmation and just being the One true and Holy God that He is. The sermon was based on Psalm 34. This morning, I focus particularly on Psalm 34:4.

God is a ready listener … to those who seek Him. To seek the Lord means pursuing Him. When we go after God, He hears our prayers. So this automatically tells us that those who don’t pursue the Lord shouldn’t expect Him to answer their prayers. Pursuit is not some lackadaisical approach. When pursuing a job or a desired mate, an honest effort is made. In the instance of a job, many go to school, enroll in a particular program, acquire internships, and become apprentices to perfect their skills. If it is something you really want you go after it.

The same is true with relationships. Many who desire meaningful companionship with the opposite sex that leads to marriage, courtship ensues. There are often moments of extended conversations and personal time alone. Why should things be any less important when it comes to God? Our pursuit should be that and more.

God hears us when we seek Him. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” 2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV. Keywords: If, humble, pray, seek, and turn from wicked ways. We ought not think that we can come to God in any way. There is a process. There is a need to ask for forgiveness. God’s promises are conditional. His love is like that of a marriage. Consider the many references made in the Bible God reveals relating to marriage. It is a sacred vow that we should strive to keep—be in active pursuit.

…and delivered me from all my fears.” When our trust is in the Lord and we pray to Him (seeking Him) for strength and courage, He is faithful to provide.

Monday, August 2, 2010

No More than You can Bear

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it,” 1 Corinthians 10:13.

God has promised to not allow us to go through more than we can bear. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Matthew 11:28-30. God’s yoke is easy and His burden is light. Oftentimes we take on things that we don’t have to. Sometimes we may try to handle situations that are only alleviated through Jesus Christ. We are more than conquerors, but not in our own strength—only in Jesus (Romans 8:37). We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

Take a look at the Amplified version of 1 Corinthians 10:13:

13For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [a]adjusted and [b]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to [c]a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
At any time you feel that you’re struggling with anything or facing a faith-testing situation, refer to this scripture. As I meditated on this verse some time ago, I was able to grasp, understand, and truly see times where God made a way of escape for me. The key here is taking advantage of that emergency exit.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

God’s Holy Word

I solicit prayers as my husband and I relocate to another state. I thank God for all of His many blessings and for growing my faith the way that He has. I know that He will continue to do so. As I prepare for my move, this post will be the last until we get settled at our destination, which will probably be about three to four weeks. I plan to begin posting again (weekly) in August. Please continue to be encouraged by God’s Holy Word by meditating on it daily. When you meditate on God’s word, you don’t have time to think about the distractions of the world.

Thank you in advance for your prayers and I pray that everyone who reads this message receives the will God has for your life; in Jesus’ name.

Psalm 14

–To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.
2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.
4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call on the LORD?
5 There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous.
6 You shame the counsel of the poor, But the LORD is his refuge.
7 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the LORD brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

A description of the depravity of human nature, and the deplorable corruption of a great part of mankind.

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. The sinner here described is an atheist, one that saith there is no Judge or Governor of the world, no Providence ruling over the affairs of men. He says this in his heart. He cannot satisfy himself that there is none, but wishes there were none, and pleases himself that it is possible there may be none; he is willing to think there is none. This sinner is a fool; he is simple and unwise, and this is evidence of it: he is wicked and profane, and this is the cause. The word of God is a discerner of these thoughts. No man will say, There is no God, till he is so hardened in sin, that it is become his interest that there should be none to call him to an account.

The disease of sin has infected the whole race of mankind. They are all gone aside, there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Whatever good is in any of the children of men, or is done by them, it is not of themselves, it is God's work in them. They are gone aside from the right way of their duty, the way that leads to happiness, and are turned into the paths of the destroyer. Let us lament the corruption of our nature, and see what need we have of the grace of God: let us not marvel that we are told we must be born again. And we must not rest in any thing short of union with Christ, and a new creation to holiness by his Spirit. The psalmist endeavors to convince sinners of the evil and danger of their way, while they think themselves very wise, and good, and safe. Their wickedness is described. Those that care not for God's people, for God's poor, care not for God himself. People run into all manner of wickedness, because they do not call upon God for his grace. What good can be expected from those that live without prayer?

But those that will not fear God may be made to fear at the shaking of a leaf. All our knowledge of the depravity of human nature should endear to us salvation out of Zion. But in heaven alone shall the whole company of the redeemed rejoice fully, and for evermore. The world is bad; oh that the Messiah would come and change its character! There is universal corruption; oh for the times of reformation! The triumphs of Zion's King will be the joys of Zion's children. The second coming of Christ, finally to do away the dominion of sin and Satan, will be the completing of this salvation, which is the hope, and will be the joy of every Israelite indeed. With this assurance we should comfort ourselves and one another, under the sins of sinners and sufferings of saints.

About this commentary:
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

Friday, June 25, 2010

True Repentance

There are synonyms used for the word repent such as regret, remorse, feel sorrow, but none of these accurately describe what true repentance is. It is more than feeling bad about something you’ve done. Judas felt bad about betraying Jesus, but did he repent? Thieves may feel bad about getting caught and thrown into jail, but do they really repent of their wrong doing? Repentance is to change your mind about living a sinful life.

When a person repents, they lay the foundation to be forgiven. John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ, “and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’”[a] Matthew 3:2-3, NKJV. When Christ began His teaching ministry, He instructs people to repent. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Matthew 4:17, KJV.

Often messages are preached about the promises of God, but many fail to realize that repentance is required for these blessings to come about. You can feel sorry all day long about what you’ve done, wracked in guilt over your actions, but until the decision is made to turn away from a sinful life the foundation built is on shaky ground. Everything built upon it will eventually tumble and fall. This is evident when people experience the same things over and over in life wondering why deliverance hasn’t come. They listen to sermon after sermon, message after message, but never truly receive the Word. It’s not enough to be a hearer of the word, we must also be doers.

Repentance will be evident by the fruits one is displaying. Remember, Jesus said that you know them by their fruits. Repentance will be evidence in their works; is it of the flesh or of the Spirit? Repentance is a decision, plain and simple, to deny oneself and follow Christ. “Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart];” Matthew 3:8, AMP.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rich Oppressors Will Be Judged

James 5:1-6, NKJV

1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.
3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.
4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.[a]
5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as[b] in a day of slaughter.
6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.
There was a time when I was promised a certain wage by an employer I was working for and did not get it. There are others who I know about where hours were stolen and deleted from the record so that the company could retain their funds. All of this is fraud. But as the Bible teaches, they too will have their day.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” Romans 12:19, KJV.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Destruction of Jericho

Joshua 6:1-5, NKJV
1 Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in.
2 And the LORD said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.
3 You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.
4 And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
5 It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

  • Simple instructions

  • Clear plan.

  • The human victory factor: OBEDIENCE
For the Christian, we will not / cannot have victory without obedience.

This scripture (provided previously in the NIV) and note shared by Pastor Nate Brock of Mulberry Baptist Church in Sumter, SC. It is a familiar passage that resonate volumes today.
*This post includes the NKJV*

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

After Godliness

Titus 1: 1-9, KJV
1Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
2In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
3But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
4To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
5For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Amplified Version
9He must hold fast to the sure and trustworthy Word of God as he was taught it, so that he may be able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound (wholesome) doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it [showing the wayward their error].
All messages aren’t comfortable to hear, but necessary. God loves us and sets forth commands for us to follow. He points out what is correct and what isn’t. It’s not to criticize us; it’s to shape us into His image.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Psalmist's Temptation

“If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image,” Psalm 73:15-20, KJV.

The psalmist's temptation.

The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the graces of many saints. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the goodness of God. This is a truth which cannot be shaken. Good thoughts of God will fortify against Satan's temptations. The faith even of strong believers may be sorely shaken, and ready to fail. There are storms that will try the firmest anchors. Foolish and wicked people have sometimes a great share of outward prosperity. They seem to have the least share of the troubles of this life; and they seem to have the greatest share of its comforts. They live without the fear of God, yet they prosper, and get on in the world.

Wicked men often spend their lives without much sickness, and end them without great pain; while many godly persons scarcely know what health is, and die with great sufferings. Often the wicked are not frightened, either by the remembrance of their sins, or the prospect of their misery, but they die without terror. We cannot judge men's state beyond death, by what passes at their death. He looked abroad, and saw many of God's people greatly at a loss. Because the wicked are so very daring, therefore his people return hither; they know not what to say to it, and the rather, because they drink deep of the bitter cup of affliction. He spoke feelingly when he spoke of his own troubles; there is no disputing against sense, except by faith.

From all this arose a strong temptation to cast off religion. But let us learn that the true course of sanctification consists in cleansing a man from all pollution both of soul and body. The heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ laid hold upon by faith; and by the begun works of the Lord's Spirit, manifested in the hearty resolution, purpose, and study of holiness, and a blameless course of life and actions, the hands are cleansed. It is not in vain to serve God and keep his ordinances. (Ps 73:15-20)

About this commentary:
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 73

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Apostle's Commission

“1FROM PAUL, a bond servant of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) called to be an apostle, (a special messenger) set apart to [preach] the Gospel (good news) of and from God, 2Which He promised in advance [long ago] through His prophets in the sacred Scriptures-- 3[The Gospel] regarding His Son, Who as to the flesh (His human nature) was descended from David, 4And [as to His divine nature] according to the Spirit of holiness was openly [a]designated the Son of God in power [in a striking, triumphant and miraculous manner] by His resurrection from the dead, even Jesus Christ our Lord (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 5It is through Him that we have received grace (God's unmerited favor) and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name's sake among all the nations, 6And this includes you, called of Jesus Christ and invited [as you are] to belong to Him. 7To [you then] all God's beloved ones in Rome, called to be saints and designated for a consecrated life: Grace and spiritual blessing and peace be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 1:1-7, AMP.

The apostle's commission.

The doctrine, of which the apostle Paul wrote, set forth the fulfillment of the promises by the prophets. It spoke of the Son of God, even Jesus the Saviour, the promised Messiah, who came from David as to his human nature, but was also declared to be the Son of God, by the Divine power which raised him from the dead. The Christian profession does not consist in a notional knowledge or a bare assent, much less in perverse disputings, but in obedience. And all those, and those only, are brought to obedience of the faith, who are effectually called of Jesus Christ. Here is, 1. The privilege of Christians; they are beloved of God, and are members of that body which is beloved. 2. The duty of Christians; to be holy, hereunto are they called, called to be saints. These the apostle saluted, by wishing them grace to sanctify their souls, and peace to comfort their hearts, as springing from the free mercy of God, the reconciled Father of all believers, and coming to them through the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ro 1:8-15).

About this commentary:
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Vision of Obadiah

"But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it. And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD's," Obadiah 1:17-21, KJV.

Destruction to come upon Edom. Their offences against Jacob.

This prophecy is against Edom. Its destruction seems to have been typical, as their father Esau's rejection; and to refer to the destruction of the enemies of the gospel church. See the prediction of the success of that war; Edom shall be spoiled, and brought down. All the enemies of God's church shall be disappointed in the things they stay themselves on. God can easily lay those low who magnify and exalt themselves; and will do it. Carnal security ripens men for ruin, and makes the ruin worse when it comes.

Treasures on earth cannot be so safely laid up but that thieves may break through and steal; it is therefore our wisdom to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Those that make flesh their trust, arm it against themselves. The God of our covenant will never deceive us: but if we trust men with whom we join ourselves, it may prove to us a wound and dishonor. God will justly deny those understanding to keep out of danger who will not use their understandings to keep out of sin.

All violence, all unrighteousness, is sin; but it makes the violence far worse, if it be done against any of God's people. Their barbarous conduct towards Judah and Jerusalem is charged upon them. In reflecting on ourselves, it is good to consider what we should have done; to compare our practice with the Scripture rule. Sin, thus looked upon in the glass of the commandment, will appear exceedingly sinful. Those have a great deal to answer for who are idle spectators of the troubles of their neighbors, when able to be active helpers. Those make themselves poor, who think to make themselves rich by the ruin of the people of God; and those deceive themselves, who call all that their own on which they can lay their hands in a day of calamity. Though judgment begins at the house of God, it shall not end there. Let sorrowful believers and insolent oppressors know that the troubles of the righteous will soon end, but those of the wicked will be eternal.

About this commentary:
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Radical Question

Normally, reviews aren't posted on this site, but this book explores Luke 18 so vividly I had to share it here as well as on my book club blog.
“What is Jesus worth to you?” This question posed on the front cover of David Platt’s The Radical Question resonate volumes throughout the booklet. This powerful exploration of Christian living both in and outside of the United States delivers an inspiring display of scripture personified. Consider the scripture passage of Luke 18 where a rich ruler asked Jesus what he must do to be saved. Jesus replied, “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother,” verse 20, KJV. The wealthy ruler replied, “All these have I kept from my youth up.” Then Jesus said to him, “Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” When the ruler heard this he did not jump up and say, “Yes, Master! Whatever you’ll have me to do, I’ll do!” In fact, when he heard this, the scripture states that he was very sorrowful because he was very rich.

This booklet shares with the reader those who have said “yes” to the call. There are specific examples of where “great jobs” and “once-in a lifetime” opportunities were turned down for the sake of doing God’s work. It causes one to think about those who are less fortunate in reality versus the abstract. Not just the hungry and those who are homeless, but those who are without the freedom to worship God—those who are subject to become martyrs. What are you willing to sacrifice? Those of us who stand in firmly built air-conditioned homes, visit comfortable worship centers, and rest easy with lucrative bank accounts? What are we doing with what we have? If God were to place it on your heart to share some of it with a neighbor, the community shelter, or even foreign ministries … what would you do? Could that new pool installation wait? Could that brand new TV wait? Better yet, could that weekly lunch or dinner out be sacrificed?

God blesses us to be a blessing. It is all for kingdom advancement. To whom much is given, much is required. When a person teeters on the edge of selfishness, they are on the brink of making those things idols. “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,” verse 25.

Many thanks go to Waterbrook Multnomah where the book can be purchased. Please visit this site for more information: http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com//

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Holy Scriptures

2 Timothy 3:10-17, NKJV

10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,
11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
No matter what the enemy may try to make you believe, we must bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Majesty of the Lord

Psalm 93, KJV

1The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
2Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.
3The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.
4The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.
5Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.
The Lord is worthy to be praised...

Friday, June 11, 2010

The LORD Will Reward You

Proverbs 25:18-25, NKJV

18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.
19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.
20 Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather,
And like vinegar on soda, Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the LORD will reward you.
23 The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.
24 It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
25 As cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a far country.
The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me,” Psalm 18:20, KJV.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Keeping Composure

Jude 1:3-9, KJV
3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God[b] and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;
7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
Sometimes, we simply need to say, “The Lord rebuke you!” Don't let the enemy manipulate you into behaving like him.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Even the Demons Believe

“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[a] Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[b]And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only,” James 2:19-24, NKJV.

It is not enough to say that one believes in God, for even the demons believe. It is not enough to just “go to church,” for we must be the church. It is not enough to understand that His word is true, for we must allow His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. We must surrender to God’s way of doing things, not trying to carefully skate along worshipping God on one day and putting ourselves first on the next. When He is the center of our lives, everything else falls under His direction. You’d constantly ask yourself, “Is this pleasing in God’s sight?”

Faith without works is dead; also consider works without faith is dead or done in vain. For example, if you pay your tithes providing for the house of God, but don’t believe that God will “pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10), then your works are in vain—dead. If the fruits aren’t evident in your life, check the motive behind what you’re doing. Is it for show? Is it to just say that you’ve done that? What you do in secret, God will reward you openly. And we must keep in mind that “blessings” aren’t only materialistic.

Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” The scripture goes on to say that he was called the friend of God. By works, faith was made perfect. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed,” James 1:22-25, KJV.

Reference: God’s Friend